Coleford

Extract from Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of England, 1831.
Transcribed by Mel Lockie, © Copyright 2010
Lewis Topographical Dictionaries

COLEFORD, a market-town and chapelry in the parish of NEWLAND, hundred of ST-BRIAVELLS, county of GLOUCESTER, 19 miles (W.S.W.) from Gloucester, and 124 (W. by N.) from London, containing 1804 inhabitants. This place, which is pleasantly situated on the verge of the county, next Monmouthshire, obtained the grant of a market from James I. During the parliamentary war, a skirmish took place previously to the siege of Gloucester, between a party of the royalists commanded by Lord Herbert and the parliamentary forces under Col. Barrow, in which the market-house was destroyed, and Sir Richard Lawdy, major-general of South Wales, and several officers, were killed: at a subsequent period, during the same war, the ancient chapel was demolished.

The town consists principally of one spacious, street, in which is the market-place: the houses are in general neat and well built; the environs are pleasant, and in some points beautifully picturesque; and in the vicinity are several elegant mansions and handsome villas. The inhabitants are principally employed in agriculture, and many of the labouring class are occupied in the extensive iron-works in the neighbourhood; a great quantity of apples is cultivated for cider. The market is on Friday: fairs are held on June 20th for wool, and November 24th for cattle and cheese. The market-house was rebuilt in 1679, towards defraying the expense of which Charles II. contributed £50.

The living is a perpetual curacy, in the archdeaconry. of Hereford, and diocese of Gloucester, endowed with £200 private benefaction, £600 royal bounty, and £1200 parliamentary grant, and in the patronage of the Bishop of Gloucester. The chapel, rebuilt in the reign of Queen Anne, who contributed £300 towards its erection, is dedicated to All Saints. There is a place of worship for Particular Baptists. Vestiges of King Offa's dyke may be distinctly traced in some parts of the town.

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