Newnham Gloucestershire Family History Guide

Newnham is an Ancient Parish and a market town in the county of Gloucestershire.

Other places in the parish include: Ruddle, Rudhall, and Rhuddle.

Parish church:

Parish registers begin: 1547

Nonconformists include: Independent/Congregational and Wesleyan Methodist.

Parishes adjacent to Newnham

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

NEWNHAM, a small town, a parish, and a sub-district, in Westbury-on-Severn district, Gloucester. The town stands on the river Severn, adjacent to the Gloucester and South Wales railway, 11 miles SW of Gloucester. It was the place where Earl Strongbow and Henry II. met in 1171, and the place whence they set sail for Ireland; it received from King John a sword of office, which is still kept in perfect preservation; it received also a charter from King John; it sent a member to parliament in the time of Edward I.; it afterwards got exemption from sending one, on account of poverty; it was, for some time, governed by a mayor and corporation; and it afterwards became governed only by two constables. A castle was built at it soon after the Norman conquest; was garrisoned, by Wyntoun, for Charles I.; and was surrendered to Col. Massie. Some remains of fortification may still be traced; and a long raised ancient fosse has been converted into a pleasant promenade. The Severn here is nearly a mile wide; shows beautiful scenery; and has a ferry at high and low water. A proposal was made about 1837 to erect a suspension-bridge, 1,125 feet long, with two main arches, each 45 feet in span, and with side-openings; but has never been carried into effect. The town is a seat of petty sessions and county-courts, and a polling-place; and has a head post-office, a railway station with telegraph, a banking office, two good hotels, a neat town hall, a church, an Independent chapel, a national school, and charities £50. The church stands on an eminence, at the S end of the town; is an ancient building, in pointed architecture, withtraces of Norman; consists of nave, chancel, and smallside chapel, with an embattled tower; and contains a very curious carved Norman font. A weekly market is held on Friday; fairs are held on 11 June and 18 Oct.; a considerable commerce in bark, timber, slate, and coal is carried on; and there is a large tannery. A branch railway runs to a wharf at Bullo Pill; and tram railways go to collieries and iron-mines in Dean forest. The parish comprises 1,890 acres of land, and 215 of water. Real property, £6,235; of which £42 are in fisheries. 1851, 1,288; in 1861, 1,325. Houses, 251. The manor of Newnham is held by the trustees of John James, Esq.; and the manor of Rodley, part of which is within Newnham parish, belongs to Gen. John W. Guise, Bart. The living is a p. curacy in the diocese of Gloucester and Bristol. Value, £140. Patrons, the Charity Trustees in Gloucester. The sub-district contains also five other parishes, East Dean township, and five extra-parochial tracts. Acres, 24,023. Pop., 14,474. Houses, 2,920.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].


Newnham Universal British Directory 1791


  • County: Gloucestershire
  • Civil Registration District: Westbury on Severn
  • Probate Court: Pre-1541 – Court of the Bishop of Hereford, Post-1541 – Court of the Bishop of Gloucester (Episcopal Consistory)
  • Diocese: Pre 1836 – Gloucester, Post 1835 – Gloucester and Bristol
  • Rural Deanery: Forest
  • Poor Law Union: Westbury on Severn
  • Hundred: Westbury (Gloucestershire)
  • Province: Canterbury