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New Radnor, Radnorshire

Historical Description

Radnor, New, a town, an ancient borough, the head of a petty sessional division, and a parish in Radnorshire. The town stands on the river Somergill, under Radnor Forest, 7 miles WNW of Kington, 8 WSW of Presteign, 159 by road and 177 by rail from London. It is known to the Welsh as Maes Hyved, signifying the "imbibing meadow," and alluding to the occasional absorption of the Somerglll river in the neighbouring soil; was once a place of great importance, with a, border castle; was The place where Archbishop Baldwin and Giraldus Cambrensis commenced their crusade mission in 1188; continued to be of so much importance in the time of Henry VIII. as then to give its name to the newly constituted. county around it; was for some time a seat of assizes and a market-town; and fell so far into decay as to have its chief business of every kind transferred to Presteign. It was chartered by Elizabeth, but the corporation was abolished by the Municipal Corporations Act of 1883. It formerly united with Presteign, Rhayader, and several other places in sending a member to the House of Commons, but under the Redistribution of Seats Act of 1885 its representation was merged in that of the county. It is a seat of petty sessions, and gives the title of Earl to the family of Bouverie. It is now a mere village, consisting chiefly of one irregularly-built street, but is picturesquely situated, and has a station at the terminus of a branch of the G.W.R. from Kington, and a post and money order office under Kington; telegraph office, Kington. The town-hall is a plain stone building, partly used as a market-hall. It has been rebuilt in white brick. There is a, small county police station. Fairs are held on 14 Aug., 10 Sept., and 28 and 29 Oct. The castle was built by the Mortimers, occupied early by the Welsh, and demolished by King John; was rebuilt by the English, taken in 1231 by the Welsh, burnt in 1263 by Llewelyn ap Grufydd, and finally destroyed in 1401 by Owen Glendower; and is now represented only by a mound. A memorial cross was erected in 1864 to the memory of Sir G. C. Lewis; has somewhat the form of an Eleanor cross, but is more solid; and consists of three stages, rising from a stepped base, and crowned by a spire. The church stands on the side of a hill, is in the Norman style, and was restored in 1842. There are Baptist and Calvinistic Methodist chapels. The parish comprises 3416 acres; population, 497. There is a parish council consisting of seven members. Downton House is the chief residence. A picturesque waterfall of 70 feet, called Water-break-its-neck, is about 2 miles from the town. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Hereford; net value, £205 with residence. Patron, the Lord Chancellor.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Registration districtPresteigne1837 - 1870
Registration districtKington1870 - 1933
Registration districtRadnorshire East1933 - 1974

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Civil Registration

For general information about Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) see the Civil Registration page.

For births, marriages, and deaths in New Radnor from 1837 to 1870 you should search for the Presteigne Registration District.
For births, marriages, and deaths in New Radnor from 1870 to 1933 you should search for the Kington Registration District.
For births, marriages, and deaths in New Radnor from 1933 to 1974 you should search for the Radnorshire East Registration District.

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Radnorshire is available to browse.

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following newspapers online: