Cinderford

Extract from Kelly's Directory of Gloucestershire, 1923.
Transcribed by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 2012

CINDERFORD is a town forming part of the Forest of Dean, and including Ruspidge and Soudley, in the township of East Dean; it is in the Forest of Dean division of the county, 3 miles north-west from Newnham, with a station on the Severn and Wye Joint Great Western and Midland railway, and one (serving as a motor halt and for the reception of goods) on the Great Western Company's Forest of Dean goods and motor railway. The place is lighted with gas by the Cinderford Gas Co. Limited, and supplied with water by the East Dean Rural District Council from a reservoir near Little Dean Hill. The district comprises two ecclesiastical parishes and the Soudley mission district, and is in the rural deanery of South Forest and archdeaconry and diocese of Gloucester.

St. John the Evangelist's is an ecclesiastical parish, formed in 1844, and comprises a portion of Cinderford, with Ruspidge and Soudley. The church, erected in 1843, from designs by Mr. Edward Blore, architect, of London, is a cruciform building of stone in the Gothic style, consisting of apsidal chancel, nave, transepts and a tower with spire containing one bell: there are sittings for 400 persons. The registers date from the year 1843. The living is a perpetual curacy, net yearly value £270, with residence, in the gift of the Crown, and held since 1908 by the Rev. Frederick William Baldwin, of Durham University.

The church of St. Michael and All Angels, SOUDLEY, erected in 1910 at the cost of £1,000, is a building of stone in the Gothic style: the east window is stained: there are 200 sittings. The church is served by the clergy of St. John's. There is a Baptist chapel, erected in 1843, with 1,000 sittings; a Congregational chapel, built in 1902; Wesleyan, Primitive Methodist and United Methodist chapels. The Town Hall, the property of the Cinderford Co-operative Society Limited, is a substantial building of stone, and has a large room for public meetings. St. Annall's mansion was purchased in 1907 at a cost of £700, and converted into an institute; £250 was expended on alterations.

ST. STEPHEN'S, WOODSIDE, is an ecclesiastical parish, formed Aug. 13, 1880, out of the parishes of Holy Trinity, St. John the Evangelist and Flaxley. The church, erected in 1889-90, at a cost of about £6,000, from designs by Mr. Lingen Barker, architect, of Hereford, is a building of stone, consisting of chancel, clerestoried nave of four bays, and aisles: the chancel and stained east window were the gift of Lady Crawley-Boevey, of Flaxley Abbey: there are 600 sittings. The register of baptisms dates from 1880, and of marriages from 1890. The living is a perpetual curacy, net yearly value £275 , with residence, in the gift of the Church Patronage Society, and held since 1916 by the Rev. Herman Masterman Biddell M.A. of St. Catherine's College, Cambridge.

St. Stephen's Church room, erected in 1874 for Divine service, is now used as a Sunday school.

There is an iron mission room at BILSON, seating 80 persons, and a mission room on LITTLE DEAN HILL, seating 70.

The population of the ecclesiastical parish of St. John the Evangelist in 1911 was 3,339, and of St. Stephen's, Woodside, 4,556.
[Kelly's Directory of Gloucestershire, 1923]

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