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Christchurch including Caerleon Village, Lliswerry, Somerton Common and Maindee

(A description written in 1891)

See also Newport

A Parish formerly head of Petty Sessional division (now held at Newport); it is on the road from Newport to Chepstow, 3 miles north-east from Newport and 1.1/2 south-east from Caerleon station on the branch of the Great Western railway, 15 west from Chepstow and 22 south from Monmouth; in the Southern division of the county, Hundred of Caldicot; Newport Union and County Court district; western division of Netherwent West rural deanery, Monmouth archdeaconry and diocese of Llandaff. The whole of the parish was incorporated with the borough of Newport in 1889.

The church of St. Mary is one of the finest in Monmouthshire: it has been built of local stone at different periods: from the hill on which it stands a splendid view can be obtained of the surrounding: the church consists of chancel, nave of five bays, aisles, tower containing 2 bells, dated 1661, and south porch and the interior has been restored, and it was reopened in September 1886: during the process of restoration there were brought to light a stone staircase inside, leading through the thickness of the walls to the rood-screen, of which there are now no remains; and outside, the bases of three Early English (lancet) windows in the chancel, before the present Perpendicular east window was inserted: this window was filled with stained glass by Mr C E Kemp during 1890, as a memorial to the late vicar, the Rev. F H Archer, and was subscribed for by the parishioners and friends; the subject is the Crucifixion; and the west window will be filled with stained glass during this year (1891): the tower and south porch are Norman: the tower is about to be restored, at a cost of £600, which sum is being raised……a lancet window in the chancel which is filled with stained glass to the memory of a former vicar, the Rev. W Pope….. in the chancel there is a a flat monument, to which healing properties used to be attributed, and Donovan ("Tour of South Wales." 1804) gives a picture of a man lying upon it in the year 1803; on one night in the the year only, was the stone reputed to have these healing powers; authorities are divided as to the night in question, but there is some probability that is was on the Wednesday night after Trinity Sunday: there are only two bells in the tower; these are dated 1661; the other three bells, it is said, were sold years ago to defray certain expenses connected with the church: the church will hold 500. The register of Baptisms dates from the year 1698; Marriages, 1703; Burials, 1701. The living is a vicarage, tithe-rent charge commuted at £173 8s. gross value about £300, with 90 acres of glebe and residence, in the gift of the Provost and Fellows of Eton College (who take the great tithes, amounting to £150), and held since 1889 by the Rev. Edward Hobhouse Procter Carter B.A. of Keble College, Oxford. Parish Clerk: William Brown

St Andrew's, Liswerry, is a Chapel of Ease to St. John the Evangelist, Maindee, Newport; it is a small village church built of local stone, cost £600, opened in 1882, and consists of a chancel, nave and a bell turret and bell: there are 250 sittings, all free: Rev. Howell Jenkins, curate in charge.

The old chapel, Liswerry is used as a parish room, having been purchased in 1890 by the vicar and churchwardens of Maindee.

Here are Baptist, Congregational, Primitive Methodist and Wesleyan chapels.

A Cemetery of 6 acres was formed in 1882 at a cost of £4,000, and contains one mortuary chapel; it is under the control of a Burial Board of seven members.

Coldra House is the residence of Joseph Gaskell Esq.

CAERLEON VILLAGE, a Hamlet, 1 mile north (of Christchurch)

LISWERRY, a Hamlet, 1 mile south (of Christchurch)

SOMERTON COMMON, a Hamlet, 2 miles south-west (of Christchurch)

MAINDEE, a portion of this (Christchurch) parish, forms a suburb of Newport, and will be found under that place.

Post Office, Liswerry:

Hugh Berry, receiver. Letters through Newport, arrive at 7.20 a.m; dispatched at 6.20 p.m. The nearest money order office is at Maindee, for Somerton Common & Christchurch; & for Caerleon Village, the nearest post & money order office is Caerleon; savings bank at both places. Postal orders are issued here, but not paid. Wall letter box, Caerleon Village, cleared at 7 p.m; no collection on Sunday.


A School Board of 5 members was formed in 1877 for the portion of the parish not included in the municipal borough of Newport, but was in 1889 amalgamated with the Newport School Board.

Board School, built in 1879, for 195 children; average attendance, 146; William Batchley, master; Miss Elizabeth Parsons & Miss Ethel Batchley, assistant mistresses.

The parish is in several manors, but the largest rights are held by Eton College, Lord Tredegar, Amelius Richard Mark Lockwood Esq, of Bishops' Hall, Romford, Joseph Thomas Firbank Esq. and Charles Herbert Firbank and the Trustees of the late Miss Webb are chief landowners. The soil is sand and lias; subsoil, chiefly clay. The chief crops are wheat and roots. The are is 5,757 acres; rateable value £52,168;

The population in 1881 (with Maindee) was 6,524; the population of the Local Board district in 1881 was 1,764.

(extracts from Kelly's 1891 Directory of Monmouthshire, transcribed by J. Doe)




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