Shirenewton / Drenewydd Gelli Farch

Extract from Kelly's Directory of Monmouthshire & South Wales, 1895.
Transcribed by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 2011

SHIRE NEWTON is a parish, seated on a hill, 335 feet above the sea, and is 4½ miles north from Portskewett and 4½ south-west from Chepstow railway stations on the Great Western railway, in the Southern division of the county, Caldicot hundred, petty sessional division, union and county court district of Chepstow, rural deanery of Netherwent (Eastern division), archdeaconry of Monmouth, and diocese of Llandaff. The old Welsh name of this parish (which appears to have been but seldom used) was Tre-newydd-gellii-fach. This was anciently a detached portion of the lordship of Caldicot, and the eastern part of the parish is still included in the manor of Caldicot-cum-Newton. The church of St. Thomas a Becket is an ancient building of stone, founded by Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hereford, about the middle of the 13th century, and consists of chancel, nave, north aisle (added in 1853), and a massive tower, placed at the intersection of the nave and chancel, and containing 5 bells, all cast by William Evans, of Chepstow, in 1756: the tower is a good example of the peculiar fortified church towers of this district, and from the elevated situation of the church is a conspicuous object for many miles round: there is one modern stained window: the church affords 200 sittings, The register dates from the year 1730.

The living is a rectory, tithe rent-charge £375, net yearly income £265, with residence, in the gift of the Bishop of Llandaff, and held since 1891 by the Rev. George Platt Dew B.A. of Jesus College, Cambridge. There is a chapel for Calvinistic Methodists at Gaerlwydd; and Wesleyan and Bible Christian chapels at Earlswood and one for Wesleyans in the village. The Society of Friends opened a burying-ground here in 1700, and the present Wesleyan chapel was built by them. The common land is inclosed and cultivated. There is a cromlech just outside the parish on the road to Usk, and upon a steep eminence in Llanmelin Wood, upwards of a mile from the village, and partly in this parish, and partly, in that of Caerwent, is a large British encampment, strongly defended by an inner and outer vallum, and having outworks on the north-eastern side towards the edge of the wood. Shire Newton Hall, the residence of Edward Joseph Lowe esq. F.R.S., J.P. is a large and beautiful residence, on the top of a very high hill, commanding most extensive views, embracing the whole of the Bristol Channel, from the estuary of the Severn to beyond Porlock Bay, backed by the Cotswold, Mendip, Quantock and Exmoor Hills.

Just behind the hall there was formerly an ancient mansion, belonging to the Blethyn family, and said to have been once occupied by Bishop Blethyn, who died here in 1590. The Coombe (or Cwm) the property and residence of William Shaxson Lang esq. is pleasantly seated amidst secluded and picturesque scenery and sheltered from north and east winds by the surrounding hills. The manor of Caldicot-cum-Newton, embracing a considerable part of this parish, belongs to the Duchy of Lancaster, under which it is held by Charles Edward Lewis esq. of St. Pierre; there is another manor here, belonging to Lord Tredegar, and the rector is lord of the manor of the Rectory of Nova Villa, otherwise Shire Newton. The principal landowners are Edward Joseph Lowe esq. William Ecrward Carrie Curre esq. and Madame Nugent. The soil is clayey loam; subsoil, mountain limestone with some red sandstone. The crops are chiefly grain and turnips. The area is 3,590 acres; rateable value, 3,453; the population in 1891 was 648.

Sexton, John Scott.

Assistant Overseer, Thomas Williams, Gaerlwydd. Post, M.O.O., S.B. & Annuity & Insurance Office.- John Roberts, sub-postmaster. Letters arrive daily from Chepstow at 8 a.m..; dispatched at 6.16 p.m.; sundays, 9 a.m. St. Aryans is the nearest telegraph, office. Wall Letter Box, at Earlswood, cleared at. 5.30 p.m

A School Board of 5 members was formed 10 Oct, 1876; R.B. Burridge, Itton, clerk to the board & attendance-officer

Board, Earlswood (mixed), built in 1861, for 80 children; average attendance, 50; Miss Mary E. Parkes, mistress

Mynyddbach (mixed), built for 70 children; average attendance, 40; Miss E. Costello, mistress

The Church Sunday school was built in 1874

County Police Station, Thomas Foxhalf, constable

Dew Rev. George Platt B.A. (rector), Rectory
Evans Mrs. Ivy cottage
Field Esau, Wentwood mill
Lang William Sbaxson, The Coombe
Liddell Charles Oswald, Caerdu
Lowe Edward Joseph D.L., J.P., F.R.S. Shire Newton hall
Lowe Hugh Lee Peyton J.P. Shire Newton hall
Miliett Joseph, Mynddbach
Spickett Miss, Ivy cottage

Ansty Arthur, farmer, Rhewl farm
Ansty Frederick, farmer, Coal Pit fm
Ansty Thomas, farmer, Grondra frm
Barrett George, farmer, Earlswood
Barrett William, quarry owner, Wentwood Mill Paving quarry (all communications to be addressed to the King's Head hotel, Chepstow). See advertisement
Benjamin Robert, butcher & farmer, Red House farm, & Five Bells P.H
Benjamin William, farmer, & Cross Hands P.H
Bladon John, farmer, Earlswood
Bladon William, farmer & miller (water), Cribba mill
Bodenhem William, baker
Bryant Jas. market grdnr. Earlswood
Burden Richd. mrkt.grdnr. Earlswood
Burrows William, farmer
Collins George, farmer, Telwyn-y-Celyn
Collins William George, farmer & catle dealer, The Mynders
Fisher Thos. market grdnr. Earlswood
Ford Caroline (Miss), shopkeeper, Starvenacre
Godsall William, farmer, Crossway fm
Gray William, farmer, Cae Hedydd
Haines Oliver, job. mason, Mynyddbch
Harris Hannah (Mrs.), farmer, Earlswood
Hayman William, miller (water) & farmer, Little mill
Hewett John, grocer, Mynyddbach
Hewett Walt. blacksmith, Mynyddbach
Hughes Hy. farmer, Sportman's hall
Hughes Wm. market gardener, Batwell
Hunt Thos. farmer, Lower House frm
James John, farmer, Lower Bushes
James John, farmer, Upper Pink farm
Jones Charles, shoe ma. Mynyddbach
Jones Jas. mrkt.grdnr. New Road frm
Kears Thomas, head gardener to E.J. Lowe esq
Kelford Enoch, grocer

Langley John, horse dealer, Rhaeta
Lewis Thos. farmer, Twynhendrans
Lewis Thos. market grdnr. White wall
Mayberry Geo. mrkt. grdnr. Earlswood
Morgan Sarah (Mrs.), draper, The Row
Nash Sarni. Upper House inn, & farmr
Nicholas Walter, sen. farmer, Shire Newton farm
Packer, Fredk. blacksmith, Myuddbach
Packer John James, surveyor to Chepstow rural district council, Mynydie bach
Powell Wm. frmr. Cherry Orchard fm
Price Elizabeth (Mrs.), market gardener, Little Gaerllwyd
Price William, farmer, Cwm farm
Pritchard William, miller (water), Cwm mill
Quinton James, farmer, Lower Pink
Reece Henry, market gardener, Little Pantycosyn farm
Reece James, haulier, Lower Tump
Reece William, cowkeeper, New road
Reeves John & John Alfred, farmers, Pantycosyn farm
Rhyman Elizabeth (Miss), dressmaker, The Row
Richards Thos. & George, carpenters
Richards Charles, beer retailer
Riddler Albert, beer retailer
Roberts John, shopkeeper, Post office
Robins Sarah (Miss), shopkeeper
Scott John White, shopkpr. & Coal dlr.
Smith John, haulier, Old Home
Stephens George, boot & shoe maker
Williams John & Charles, farmers, Upper & Lower Argoed
Williams James, cowkeeper, Bullyhole
Williams John, plasterer, Earlswood
Williams John, saw mills, carpenter & beer retailer, Mynyddbach
[Kelly's Directory of Monmouthshire & South Wales, 1895]

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