Place:Newnham-on-Severn, Gloucestershire, England

Alt namesNewnhamsource: Family History Library Catalog
Newnhamsource: A Vision of Britain through History
TypeTown, Urban district
Coordinates51.803°N 2.45°W
Located inGloucestershire, England
See alsoWestbury (hundred), Gloucestershire, Englandhundred in which it was located
Gloucester Rural, Gloucestershire, Englandrural district of which it became a part in 1935
Forest of Dean (district), Gloucestershire, Englandadministrative district which absorbed it in 1974
source: Family History Library Catalog
the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

Newnham-on-Severn is a village in west Gloucestershire, England. It lies near the Royal Forest of Dean, on the west bank of the River Severn, approximately 10 miles south-west of Gloucester and three miles southeast of Cinderford. It is on the A48 road between Gloucester and Chepstow, Monmouthshire, Wales. The village has a parish council and from 1894 until 1935 was an urban district.

A parish church was established in the 14th century (although there had been a chapel of ease since 1018), and in 1366 a new church building was built on the high ground of the village as the old one faced erosion from the river. The new building has itself been damaged by a gunpowder explosion in 1644 during the English Civil War and by a fire in 1881, but is still in use.

Because of Newnham's location on the Severn, the Ancient Romans built three roads through the location, where they forded the river. The Anglo-Saxons established a permanent settlement, the Normans built a motte-and-bailey fortification for defence, and in medieval times it became a major port with links around Great Britain and Ireland. In 1171, Henry II of England staged an invasion of Ireland from Newnham. One account claimed that he set sail with 400 ships and 5,000 men, which suggests its importance as a port. For a time Newnham was the most successful Gloucestershire town west of the Severn. Its role as a port and trading hub declined, however, rapidly with the 1827 opening of the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal.

In 1810, an early attempt at a Severn tunnel began construction just south of Newnham. Work was abandoned after flooding in 1812.

end of Wikipedia contribution

After its time as an urban district ended in 1935, Newnham became a part of Gloucester Rural District until 1974 when it joined the Forest of Dean District local authority.

Registration Districts

Westbury-on-Severn (1837 - 1937)
Gloucester Rural (1937 - 1974)
Forest of Dean (1974 - 2006)
Gloucestershire (2006 - )

Research Tips

Online sources which may also be helpful:

  • The Victoria History of Gloucestershire chapter on Newnham-on-Severn, available online on the website British History Online.
  • GENUKI gives pointers to other archive sources as well as providing some details on each parish in the county. The emphasis here is on ecclesiastical parishes (useful before 1837)
  • A listing of all the Registration Districts in England and Wales since their introduction in 1837 and tables of the parishes that were part of each district and the time period covered with detailed notes on changes of parish name, mergers, etc. Respect the copyright on this material.
  • The FamilySearch Wiki for Gloucestershire provides a similar but not identical series of webpages to that provided by GENUKI
  • A Vision of Britain through Time has a group of pages of statistical facts for almost every parish in the county
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Newnham on Severn. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.