The proprietors trust that the present Edition of Kelly's Directory of Monmouthshire may be found at least equal in accuracy to the previous ones. Every place in Monmouthshire, and every parish will again be found to be included in the book. The Letters M.O.O. and S.B. are abbreviations adopted by H.M. Post Office to represent Money Order Office and Savings Bank.
Part 1: General Description
NEWPORT is a seaport and market town, the head of a petty sessional division, union and county court district and a parliamentary, municipal and county borough, comprising the old borough and parts of the parishes of St. Woollos, Christchurch, and Nash and Maindee, with a station on the Great Western (South Wales) line, 158½ miles from London by rail and , 48 by road, 23 southwest from Monmouth, 12 north-east! from Cardiff, 17½ south-Nyest from Chepstow, 45 east from Swansea, 44 southwest from Gloucester, 40 southwest from Herelord, in the Southern division of the county, hundred of Wentloog, rural deanery of Newport, archdeaconry of Monmouth and diocese of Llandaff: it is seated on the river Usk, 4 miles from its junction with the river Severn. A stone bridge of five arches, erected in the year 18??, by David Edwards and his two sons, and widened and improved in 1866, crosses the river Usk in a line with the High street and near the old castle.
The Great Western railway station in High street (where the whole of the passenger traffic is now concentrated) is on the Gloucester and South Wales branch. In addition to this service the Bristol and South Wales Union, via the Severn tunnel, opened December 1st, 1886, having been thirteen years in formation, the Monmouthshire Eastern and Western Valleys lines, the Great Western in connection ivith the L. and N. W. railway to Hereford and the North, the Brecon and Merthyr line and the L. and N. W. railway (Sirhowy branch) all run into Newport. About 125 passenger trains arrive and depart during the day. The Pontypridd, Caerphilly and Newport railway, opened in 1887, unites the port of Newport with the celebrated coal district of the Rhondda valley.
Newport was anciently called Novus Burgus, or New Town, to distinguish it from the ancient Caerleon; it was also called Castell-Newydd, or Newcastle, because Robert, Earl of Gloucester, a natural son of Henry I erected a castle here, to defend his possessions; from him it descended through many noble families till it became the property of Edward, Duke of Buckingham, on whose of execution the castle and the lordship svere both seized by King Henry VIII. Several towers and some of the walls of the castle are still remaining on the edge of the river, and have been converted into a brewery.
Newport in 1839 was the scene of a formidable Chartist riot, which took place on the morning of Monday, the 4th of November in that year, under the leadership of Mr. John Frost (an ex-magistrate), his son, Master Frost, one Jones of Pontypool, Zephaniah Williams and one J. Llewellyn; 10,000 miners from the collieries and mines in the neighbourhood, armed with pikes, guns, swords and clubs, met in front of the Westgate hotel, where the magistrates, with a few soldiers of the 45th regiment of foot and several constables were assembled; the rioters, having attacked the house, fired on the magistrates and wounded the mayor, Mr. (afterwards Sir Thomas) Phillips; the troops at length returned the fire and shot twenty of the miners dead, dispersing the rest, and Mr. Frost and others being captured were tried and convicted and sentenced to death; the sentence was, however, subsequently commuted to penal servitude, and a pardon was granted in 1856.
Newport, together with Monmouth and Usk, forms the Monmouth parliamentary district constituted by the Reform Act, 1832, and returning one member to Parliament. Newport is divided into fifteen polling districts, and in 1900 contained 8,341 out of a total Of 9,335 voters in the united boroughs.
The first charter of incorporation, granted in the reign of Richard II was confirmed by Henry VII, a new charter was obtained from James I, and by this the borough continued to be governed until the passing of the "Municipal Corporations Act, 1835 " (5 and 6 Wm. IV. c.76), by which the Corporation was remodelled, and now consists of a mayor, 10 aldermen and 32 councillors.
Under the provisions of the "Newport (Mon.) Corporation Act, 1889," Maindee and the hamlets of Liswerry and Somerton Common, formerly in Christchurch parish, were incorporated with Newport. The borough is divided into central, east, north, south and Maindee wards, and has a commission of the peace.. In November, 1891, the borough was Instituted a countv borough under section 54 of the "Local Government Act, 1888 " (51 and 52 Vict. c. 41).
The water undertaking was acquired by the Corporation in June, 1888, at a cost of £278,000, and the town, together with Caerleon and Rogerstone, are supplied by gravitation from a reservoir called "Ynis-y-bro," very beautifully situated in a district about 2½ miles from the town and known by the name of "Little Switzerland"; it covers 15 acres 3 roods, and is 37 feet deep in the deepest part, and contains eighty million gallons; a settling reservoir, containing thirty six million gallons, was constructed above this in 1883 ; area of water, 9 acres 2 roods , greatest depth, 21 feet 11 inches. The large reservoir called Pant-yr-eos is situated 5½ miles distant, in the parish of Henllys. It covers 15 acres and is 84 feet deep in the deepest part, and. contains 145 million gallons. The pricipal supply is derived from springs, the water yielded by which is very pure. Fishing is allowed in the reservoir by ticket, price 21shillings yearly.
The town is lighted by gas by the Newport Gas Company, incorporated in 1830. New works were erected in 1891 at Crindau on a site of 20 acres.
The Port of Newport, as defined by Treasury Warrant, under "The Customs Act, 1846," extends from Redwick Pill, (limits of Chepstow) to Rumney river (limit of Cardiff), and to the middle of the Severn river. Fishing boats and implements belonging to the port to be distinguished by the letters "NT". Only three boats were registered as belonging to the port in 1899.
The quantities and values of the principal articles imported were :-
The total value of imports of all articles was £1,046,614
In the general coasting trade 4,746 sailing and steam vessels entered with cargoes of a tonnage of 1,047,893. The number cleared was 4,108, Of 596,196 tons.
In the trade between Great Britain and Ireland, 1,193 vessels entered of 227,612 tons, and 1,458 cleared of 206,211 tonnage.
The number of vessels registered as belonging to the port under Part I of the "Merchant Shipping Act, 1894", was 79, of 21,467 tons.
The old Docks at Pillgwenlly, opened 10th October, 1842, and enlarged in 1858, cover an area of about 12 acres, with a lock 220 feet in length, 61 feet in width and a depth of water of 26 feet, and cost nearly £300,000. There are five coal staithes, each capable of shipping 200 tons per hour; also numerous cranes for the discharge of ballast, iron ore, pitwood &c, worked by steam or hydraulic power. The end of the dock is used as a timberslip. On the 1st Jan. 1884, the docks were placed under the management of the Alexandra Dock Co.
The Alexandra Docks, opened April 13th, 1875, cover an area of 28¾ acres, with a large graving dock of 503 feet in length leading therefrom. The area of land appropriated for quays, yards, warehouses, is 210 acres; for deposit of ballast, 93 acres. The lock, which is lighted by electricity, is 350 feet in length and 65 feet in width; average depth at neap tides 25 feet, spring tides 35 feet. There is attached to the dock a timber float of 10 acres with an average depth of water of 8 feet.
The South Dock, opened 6th June, 1893, covers an area of 20 acres, but when finished will cover 27 acres; length of dock opened is 1,500 feet, but when complete will be 2,270 feet; breadth of dock, 550 feet; width of trumpet-mouthed entrance, 340 feet; entrance lock, 503½ feet long by 72 feet wide; depth of water over outer cills, average spring tides, 35 feet and neap tides 25 feet. Area of land appropriated for quays, yards, warehouses &c. 215 acres, and for deposit of ballast free of charge for present works 100 acres.
The old parish church of St. Woollos, Stow hill, until about 1836 the only church for the inhabitants of Newport, is an ancient building of stone, originally Norman, but largely added to in the 15th century, and consists of chancel, nave, aisles, south porch and an embattled western tower containing 8 bells: the church was extensively repaired in the year 1855, and in 1884 brass cornmunion rails and a fine eagle lectern were provided: there are 700 sittings, 200 being free ; contiguous to the west end of the church, and between it and the tower, is a building of considerable size and ancient date, occupying the site of the original British church. The register of baptisms and burials dates from the year 1702; marriages, 1754. The living is a vicarage, net income £210, with residence and 7 acres of glebe, in the gift of the Bishop of Llandaff. and held since 1882 by the Venerable William Conybeare Bruce, M.A., of University College, Oxford, F.R.A.S., archdeacon of Monmouth, canon residentiary of Llandaff cathedral and surrogate.
The church of St. Luke, in Bridge street, a chapel of ease to the mother church, is a small cruciform building of stone consisting of chancel, nave, transepts and west porch ; there are 300 sittings.
St. Paul's is an ecclesiastical parish formed in 1839; the church, in Commercial street, is a modern structure of dressed stone, in the Gothic style, consisting of chancel, nave, baptistery, porch and a tower with spire containing a clock. The lofty chancel is separated from the nave by a magnificent arch, supported by clustered pillars, and is lighted by three stained lancet memorial.windows: the cost of erection and fitting was upwards of £7,000. There are 1,000 sittings, of which about 400 are free. The register dates from the year 1837. The living is a vicarage, net yearly value £260 with residence, in the gift of the Bishop of Llandaff, and held since 1855 by the Rev. John Tinson Wrenford M.A., Ph.D., of the University of Rostock, acting chaplain to the forces, and surrogate.
The Vicarage Hall in the grounds of the Vicarage, built in 1879, is capable of holding about 200 persons, and is used for parish meetings and bible classes.
PILLGWENLLY is an ecclesiastical parish formed in 1864; the church of Holy Trinity, Potter street, is a building of stone in the Early English style, built in 1848, and consists of chancel, nave, aisles, south porch and a western tower containing 2 bells: there are 640 sittings, of which 308 are free. The register dates from the year 1852. The living is a rectory, net yearly value £309, in the gift of the Bishop of Llandaff, and held since 1885 by the Rev. David Wilks, of Queen's College, Birmingham.
St. Mark's is an ecclesiastical parish formed in 1875. The church, erected in 1874 at a Cost of £5,500, is a building of stone in the Early English Perpendicular style, and consists of chancel, clerestoried nave, aisles, north, south and west porches, and a tower 122 feet high, with richly crocketed pinnacles: the west, or tower porch, containing the stairs to the organ gallery, is separated from the nave by an elegant traceried screen: there are sittings for 700 persons, of which 450 are free. The register dates from the year 1875. The living is a vicarage, gross yearly value £300, with residence, in the gift of the Bishop of Llandaff, and held since 1875 by the Rev. Thomas Llewellyn Lister M.A. of Jesus College, Oxford.
St. John the Evangelist, Maindee, is an ecclesiastical parish formed in 1860 out of the parish of Christ Church; the church, situated in Kensington place, Maindee, is a building of stone in the Early Decorated style, and consists of chancel, nave, south aisle, south porch and an unfinished tower containing one bell: there are 570 sittings, of which 240 are free: three costly memorial windows in memory of Messrs. Rennie, Logan :and Firbank, who resided in this parish, have been placed in this church. The register dates from the rear 1861. The living is a vicarage, net yearly value £200, in the gift of the Bishop of Llandaff, and held since 1897 by the Rev. David Ernest Llewellyn-Jones, who is a surrogate.
St. John the Baptist's is an ecclesiastical parish formed in 1898: the church in Risca road, erected in 1900 at a cost of £8,000, is a building of stone, in the Early Perpendicular style, consisting of chancel, nave, aisles, and a side chapel attached to the south aisle; the tower is not yet built: there are 700 sittings. The register dates from the year 1900. The living is an incumbency, endowed with £150 per annum, in the gift of the Archdeacon of Monmouth for the first turn, and afterwards the Bishop of Llandaff and four others as trustees, and held since 1898 by the Rev. James Francis Summers M.A., of Trinity College, Dublin.
All Saints is an ecclesiastical parish formed Feb. 2, 1899; the church, in Brynglas Road, erected in 1898 at a cost of .£16,000, is a building of stone, in the Decorated style, consisting of two chancels, nave, three aisles, and a tower containing one bell: there are 700 sittings. The living is a vicarage, gross yearly value £84, in the gift of Edmund H. Watts esq. of St. Leonards-on-Sea, who was also the founder, and held since 1898 by the Rev. William Munro MA., of Edinburgh University, and F.S.A. (Scotland).
St. Andrew's church, Liswerry, a chapel of ease to St. John the Evangelist, Maindee, erected in 1882-3, at a Cost of £700, on a site presented by the late W. G. Cartwright esq. is a building of stone in the Decorated style, consisting of chancel, nave, and western bell turret containing one bell: there are 250 sittings, all free; the Rev. Howell Jenkins B.A. of St. David's College, Lampeter, has been curate in charge since 1888.
The old chapel, Liswerry, is used as a parish room, having been purchased in 1890 by the vicar and churchwardens of Maindee.
St. Matthew's Mission church, Barnard Town, will seat 500 persons.
All Saints' Mission church, Shaftesburv street, erected in 1883 at a cost of £600, is a building of stone, with 250 free sittings.
The Mission church attached to St, John's, Maindee, is 1¼ miles from the parish church, and serves the district of St. Julians, so named from Old St. Julian's hall, once the residence of the famous Lord Herbert. of Cherbury. The church will seat 280 persons, and has attached school rooms.
St. Mary's Mission church, Corporation road, erected in 1897, at the cost of £750, is a building of galvanized iron, and consists of nave, aisles and turret containing one bell.
St. Mary's Catholic church, Stow Hill, erected in 1840, at a cost of £5,000, is a building of stone in the Early English style, and has a large square tower with pinnacles, containing 8 bells and chimes: there are 600 sittings.
The Catholic church of St. Michael the Archangel, Clarence street, Pill, erected in 1888 at a cost of £4,000, is also of stone, and has about 600 sittings.
The Jewish Synagogue in Francis street has 150 sittings.
The Bible Christian chapel, Commercial road, erected in 1883, at a cost of about £1,700, is a building of Newbridge stone, with Bath stone dressings, in the Romanesque style, and has about 600 sittings, and there is another in Hereford street. There are numerous other places of worship.
Newport and Christchurch General Cemetery, on the Bassaleg road, opened in 1854, has an area of 32 acres, inclosed with a stone wall: there are three chapels for the Church of England, Catholics and Nonconformists respectively, and a mortuary. The old cemetery, on Stow hill, behind St. Woollos church, is now entirely disused. The cemetery is under the control of the Corporation.
The Town Hall, Commercial street, rebuilt in 1885, is an edifice of Grinshill and Pennant stone, with Grinshill stone dressings, in the Italian style, from designs by Messrs. T. M. Lockwood, of Chester, and E. A. Lansdowne, of Newport; it has one frontage to Commercial street, another to Dock street, and a third to Austin Friars: the town clerk's and town surveyors offices, together with an elegant clock tower, are on the Commercial street front of the building, as also the commercial news rooms and a committee room. In the central portion is the police court with an assembly room over it: on the Dock street side is the police station, with the chief constable's office and twelve cells and an attendant's dwelling; also offices for the cemetery clerk and the inspector of weights and measures: the magistrates clerk's rooms, committee rooms, mayor's parlour and council chamber occupy the upper portion of the Dock street, frontage, whilst offices for the borough treasurer and the sanitary department complete the frontage in Austin Friars.
The police arrangements for the borough of Newport are controlled by a chief constable, whose office is at the Town Hall, entrance in Dock street, where is also the Police station, and there are branch stations at Pillgwenlly and Maindee.
The County Council offices, in Pentonville, erected in 1885-6, form a plain stone building, comprising offices for the chairman, clerk, surveyor and official staff, with a police station attached, containing cells and quarters for an inspector and 2 constables; in rear is the court house, where petty sessions are held every Saturday at 11 a.m.
The Custom House, in Dock street, is a building of stone opened in 1858. The gross amount of customs revenue, collected in 1899 was £31,132. The Board of Trade and Mercantile Marine offices occupy a site near the shipping end of Dock street and form a commodious structure erected in 1882, from designs by Messrs. A. O. Watkins and Son, architects: the entrance for captains and to the cash and inquiry offices is in Dock street, and for seamen in East Market street: the total cost of building and furniture was about £2,500: the buildings were occupied and the shipping business transferred there in August, 1882.
The Elliot Home for Seamen, in Temple street, is a stone building, erected in 1886 by the late Sir George Elliot, bart. M.P. for Monmouth district, 1886-92; attached is an institute and modern church for the seafaring population, with residence for the chaplain, established and maintained under the auspices of the Mission to Seamen Society. There is also a branch Institute, in Ruperra street opened Jan. 18th, 1887, comprising reading rooms, and rooms for billiards, bagatelle and other games: the Institute is open daily from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Newport Fire Brigade, established in May, 1884, has its headquarters in Dock street, near the Town Hall, and has steam engine, manual, fire escape, ladders &c. ; a fire escape and hose reels &c. are also kept at Pilgwenlly, Stow hill and Maindee; there is a reading room at the back. for the use of the members. The Market Hall, a modern structure of stone and iron, in Market street, with a back entrance in Griffin street, was erected in 1865, at a cost of £8,000, and was almost entirely rebuilt by the Corporation of Newport in 1889, at a cost of £43,000, subsequent to their having purchased the right of levying tolls from the Duke of Beaufort: the ground floor comprises 139 lock-up stalls, and a gallery for the sale of butter, poultry &c. runs round three sides of the interior: the front, in Dock street, consists of shops.
The barracks, in Barracks road, above Gold Tops, can be used either by infantry or cavalry, and are at present occupied by the 133rd Battery Royal Field Artillery, Depot Battery Mountain Division and a detachment of Royal Northern Reserve, numbering in all 400 men.
The 1st Monmouthshire Volunteer Artillery, Western Division, Royal Artillery, have a drill hall in Artillery place.
The Albert, Hall, Stow hill, is a, structure of brick, capable of seating 1,100 persons, and has numerous anterooms ; it is used for lectures, concerts and other entertainments.
The Lyceum, in Bridge street, an elegant structure of Bath stone, in the Classic style, first erected in 1865, and was rebuilt in 1897, at a cost of £20,000: the building, which has a pediment supported by 6 lofty columns, is 150 feet long, 60 feet wide, 70 feet high, and will contain about 2,000 people : it is licensed as a theatre, first-class companies appearing weekly throughout the season: Mr. Clarence Lounes, proprietor and manager.
The Empire Theatre, Charles street, is an edifice of red brick, rebuilt in 1899, and lighted entirely by electricity: it will hold 1,800 persons: Moss Empires Limited, proprietors : Oswald Stall, managing director.
The Temperance Hall (Phillips Memorial), in Dock street, is a plain brick building, consisting of large hall capable of seating 1,000 persons, let for concerts, lectures, meetings &c.; on the ground floor are the county court offices.
The Post Office, a spacious building in High street, is near the Great Western Railway station. The chief telegraph office is in Dock street.
The Free Library, Dock street, was established in the year 1870 under the Free Libraries Act: the building was erected from designs by Messrs. A. Watkins and Son, architects, of Newport ; the reading room is abundantly supplied with newspapers, magazines &c. and is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. The library, now (1900), contains about 25,683 volumes. The issue of books for 1899 amounted to 117,739 volumes; number of borrowers, 7,246. Branch reading rooms have been established in Temple street, Pillgwenlly, Chepstow road, Maindee, opened March 1st, 1890, and at Lyne road, opened 7 Nov. 1899.
The Commercial reading rooms are in the Town Hall, in Commercial street, and are open to members only, who pay a subscription of 25 shillings yearly: The latest publications and periodicals, together with the London and provincial papers, are regularly supplied.
The Museum and Art Gallery, built in 1895, from designs by Messrs. Swash and Bain, architects, of Newport, is situated at the rear of the public reading-room, Dock street, and occupies the, site of the old museum, with the addition of a piece of land presented for this purpose, by Lord Tredegar. The elevation facing the street is hammer-dressed stone, with Box stone dressings: a gallery, 9 feet wide, extends round the building, and is supported by ten Corinthian columns; a large proportion of the objects on view are lent by the Department of Science and Art, South Kensington, the remainder being contributed locally.
The Corn Exchange, in High street, was built by public subscription in 1878, at a cost of £5,000, as a memorial to the late Lord Tredegar: the market is held every Wednesday from 2.30 to 4 p.m.
The Coal and Metal Trades Exchange is held in the Assembly room at the Town Hall, Commercial street, every Wednesday from 12.30 to 2 p.m.
There are six banks:
The Cattle Market, in Tredegar street, Commercial road, and John street, Dock street, built in 1844, Occupies an area of five acres: there are lairs for 1,000 cattle and horses, 2,000 sheep and pigs, stabling for 20 horses, covered stalls for 220 cattle: the market day is every Wednesday.
The Corporation Baths, in Stow hill, opened on the. 19th June, 189o, and erected at a cost of £11,000, comprise two swimming baths, each 75 feet long by 25 feet wide, graduating in depth from 3 feet 6 inches at the, upper end to 7 feet at the deepest part, and i6 ladies and gentlemen's private slipper baths; mercurial and Russian vapour baths and a large variety of other baths can also be taken, as well as Turkish baths. During the winter months the two swimming baths are used as an assembly room and gymnasium respectively; the assembly room seats comfortably over 600, and classes are, organised for gymnastics under professional tuition.
The principal hotels are the "Westgate," a handsome and commodious block of buildings in Commercial street and the "Queen's," in Bridge street; there are also good temperance hotels, viz. the "Shaftesbury," in High street and "Morrish's," in Pentonville, opposite the station.
Four newspapers are published in Newport - The "South Wales Weekly Times", the "Star of Gwent," the "South Wales Daily Star," and the "South Wales Daily and Weekly Argus," all of which have large weekly issues.
There are numerous foundries, steam engine and boiler works, anchor, chain, chain cable, and nail factories, and ship building establishments as well as dry docks for the repair of shipping; railway plant and railway wagons, chemical manures and agricultural implements are manufactured here. There are also glass works at Crindau, pottery works at Pillgwenlly and Crindau, lime works at Lliswery, flour mills, breweries and maltings; bricks are made in the neighbourhood.
The Newport and Monmouthshire Hospital, originally situated on Stow hill, was established as a dispensary in 1839, and an infirmary in 1867. The new building, erected in 1900, on a site in the Cardiff road, the gift of Lord Tredegar, contains 84 beds ; the cost of the building. and the furniture was about £30,000. The average number of inpatients is about 500, and of outpatients about 4,000.
Allt-yr-yn Hospital, Barrack hill, was built in 1896, at the cost of £14,000, including site; it contains 36 beds and is used for infectious diseases.
The Almshouses, on Stow hill, were erected and endowed by Roger Williams esq. A.D I700, for six females, and were rebuilt in 1845.
The area of the municipal borough, as extended by the Corporation Act, 1889, is 4,924 acres; rateable value, £348,140.
The population of the ecclesiastical districts of Newport in 1891 was 54,707, divided as follows:- St.Woollos, 8,219 (including 345 in the workhouse and 255 in the barracks); St. Paul, 9,127; Holy Trinity, 14,968; St. Mark's, 9.589; St. John the Evangelist, Maindee, 12,744.
Maindee, on the east side of the river Usk, was incorporated with the borough in 1889. The area is 1,926 acres; the population in 1891 was 12,744.
The population of the municipal borough in 1891 was 54,707, viz.- Newport, 10,387; Christchurch (part of), 13,041; Nash (part of), 4; and St. Woollos (part of), 31,275.
The population of the municipal wards in 1891 was: - Central, 10,455; East, 8,950; Maindee, 6,672; North, 14,763; South, 13,867. The population of the parliamentary borough in 1891 was 51,803,
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