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

NEWENT, a parish in the hundred of BOTLOE, county of GLOUCESTER, comprising the liberty of Newent, and market-town of Newent, and the tythings of Boulsdon with Killcot, Compton, Cugley, and Malswick, and containing 2660 inhabitants, of which number, 1287 are in the town of Newent, 8½ miles (N.W.) from Gloucester, and 112 (W.N.W.) from London. The name of this place is supposed to have been derived from a new inn erected for the accommodation of travellers, on the site of a dilapidated mansion, now called the Boothall. A Benedictine priory, a cell to the abbey of Cormeile in Normandy, was founded here soon after the Conquest; and on the suppression of Alien priories it was given to the college of Fotheringhay.

The town, which is situated westward of the river Severn, in the Forest of Dean, is small and irregularly built, and owes its present importance to some springs near it, which possess the same qualities as the Cheltenham water. Some coal mines were opened in the parish, but the working of them has been discontinued: the Hereford and Gloucester canal passes through the parish, and communicates by a short branch with the town. The market is on Friday; and fairs are held on the Wednesday before Easter, the Wednesday before Whitsuntide, and August 12th, and a statute fair on the 19th of September. The town, which was formerly more extensive than it is at present, was governed by a bailiff, whose office became obsolete about the end of the seventeenth century.

The living is a discharged vicarage, in the archdeaconry and diocese of Gloucester, rated in the king's books at £23, and in the patronage of the Rev. William Andrew Foley. The church, which is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, is a spacious fabric, the work of different periods; over the porch is a tower with a lofty spire, built in 1679, as was also the roof of the nave, which is supported without pillars. There are two places of worship for Dissenters. Here are two free schools, and an unendowed almshouse for twenty poor persons of either sex; and other purposes.

COMPTON, a tything in the parish of NEWENT, hundred of BOTLOE, county of GLOUCESTER, containing 403 inhabitants.

KILLCOT, a tything, joint with Boulsdon, in the parish of NEWENT, hundred of BOTLOE, county of GLOUCESTER, containing 408 inhabitants.

MALSWICK, a tything in the parish of NEWENT, hundred of BOTLOE, county of GLOUCESTER, containing 181 inhabitants.

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