A high .sea wall, erected to prevent the irruption of the tide, skirts one side of the parish. The church of St. Mary Magdalene is an ancient building of stone in the Early Englsh style, consisting of chancel, nave, south porch, and an embattled western tower containing one bell. In .the chancel there is a mural brass thus inscribed :-
The church has 90 sittings. The register of baptisms and burials dates from the year 1728, and that of marriages from 1729. The living is a vicarage, net yearly value £95, with 38 acres of glebe, in the gift of Eton College, and held since 1900 by the Rev. John Price, of St. Bees, who is also vicar of and resides at Whitson. Here is a Congregational chapel, erected in 1840.
On Goldcliff hill, and about a mile from the church, are the remains of the Benedictine, priory of SS. Mary and Mary Magdalene, founded in 1113 by Robert Chandos. It was first a cell of the French abbey of Bec, and afterwards of Tewkesbury. The Welsh drove out the monks between 1442 and 1446. The revenues were estimated at £114 yearly.
The principal landowners are the Provost and Fellows of Eton College, who are the lords of the. manor, Messrs. Power, lords of Porton, Messrs. Henry Oakley, Thomas Jacob Jones, Alfred Jones, St. John Knox Rickards Phillips esq. of Whitson Court, and G. C. Williams esq. of St. Mellon's.
The soil is loam; subsoil, clay. The land is wholly in pasture. The area is 2,196 acres of land, and 8,228 of foreshore; rateable value, £3,515 ; the population in 1891was 249.
Parish Clerk, Samuel Roberts.
Letters through Newport, arrive at 9 a.m.; dispatched at 5 p.m. The nearest money order office is at Pillgwenlly.
Pillgwenlly, about 4 miles distant, is also the nearest telegraph office for collection, but Newport Docks is nearest for delivery, about 5 miles distant.
School (mixed), for the parishes of Goldcliff & Whitson, erected in 1872, for 6o children, average attendance, 46. Miss Mary Edith Tomlinson, mistress
Waters (Mrs.), The Moorlands
Cox James, haulier
Cullimore Sarah (Mrs.), farmer, Porton
Fennell Percy & Ernest, fishermen, Hill fishery
Green John Clifford, farmer, Hill farm
Harper Alexander W., farmer
Huggett Thomas, farmer, Saltmarsh
Jones Anna Gertrude (Mrs.), Farmers Arms P.H.
Jones Morgan, farm bailiff to Wm. Reece esq. of Cardiff, Clifton court
Jones Percy, farmer, Saltmarsh
Knight Charles, farmer
Phillips Martha (Mrs.), farmer, Great Newra
Roberts Sidney, farmer & mason
Roberts William, farmer, Porton
Taylor Annie Louise (Mrs.), Temperance hotel, Goldcliff hill
Walters Mary (Mrs.), farmer, Redhouse
Walter William, farmer & hay dealer, Lower Pill house
Ward Claridge, farmer, Level house,
Waters James, farmer, Saltmarsh
Waters Joseph, farmer, Saltmarsh
Waters Moses, farmer, Samson's cot
Waters Richard, farmer, The Grove
Waters William, farmer & assistant overseer, Goldcliff house
Wilcox Jane (Miss), farmer, Porton
Williams Charles, farmer, Porton
Williams Hannah (Mrs.), farmer, Henton
Williams John, farmer, Porton
Williams Thomas, farmer, Porton
Williams William, shoe maker