Monmouthshire, Wales


Monmouthshire or Monmouth, a maritime county of England, bounded on the NW by Brecknockshire, on the N and the NE by Herefordshire, on the E by Gloucestershire, on the S by the mouth of the Severn and the Bristol Channel, and on the W by Glamorgan. Its outline is not far from being pentagonal, with the sides facing the NW, the NE, the E, the ESE, and the W, but it projects a narrow tongue of about 7 miles from the NW side, and has an indentation of 9 miles by 5 at the SW corner. Its boundary along part of the N and along most of the NE is the river Monnow, along most of the E is the river Wye, and along all the W is the river Rhymney. Its greatest length, south-south-westward to the mouth of the Rhymney, is 82 miles; its greatest breadth is 29 miles, its circuit is about 124 miles, of which 24 are along the mouth of the Severn and the Bristol Channel, and its area is 341,688 acres. A tract along the coast called the Caldicott and the Wentlooge Levels is reclaimed marsh, embanked against the sea; nearly one-third of the entire area, inclusive of that tract, is rich champaign, either plain or slightly elevated ground; about one-third, northward thence, from the E boundary westward, is a charming diversity of hill and dale, abounding in landscape beauties both natural and artificial, and the rest is mainly a series of uplands, cloven with picturesque valleys and studded with romantic mountains. The chief heights in the E are Beacon Hill, overlooking the Wye, and rising to an altitude of about 1000 feet, and Kymin Hill and Wynd Cliff, commanding splendid views; and the chief mountains in the N and the NW are part of the Black Mountains, nearly 2000 feet high, the Sugar Loaf Mountain 1954, the Blorenge 1908, and Skyrrid Vawr 1601. The only rivers of any consequence besides those on the boundaries are the Trothy, running to the Wye near Monmouth; the Usk, traversing the county nearly through the centre windingly to the Bristol Channel 3 1/2 miles below Newport; and the Ebbw, traversing the W section from end to end, joined by the Sir-howy at about two-thirds of its length of run, and falling into the Bristol Channel at a common embouchure with the Usk. Devonian or old red sandstone rocks form much the greater portion of the county; rocks of carboniferous limestone and shale form a small tract in the SE around Chepstow and Caerwent, and appear in some other parts; rocks of the coal measures form a large tract in the W, from Pontypool westward to the boundary, and from the neighbourhood of Tredegar southward to the neighbourhood of Bedwas; and alluvial deposits from the tract of the Caldicott and the Wentlooge Levels. Mica and lead ore are found, limestone is plentiful, and coal and ironstone are largely worked.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England and Wales, 1894-5
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Archives and Libraries

Powys County Archives Office
Powys County Hall
Spa Road East
Llandrindod Wells
Tel: 01597 826088

Civil Registration

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

List of Registration Districts in Monmouthshire from 1837 to 1974.


Old map of Monmouthshire circa 1848 (Samuel Lewis)

Old map of Monmouthshire circa 1895 (Gazetteer of England and Wales)

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