Newport Past

Medieval and Early Post-Medieval Newport
Selected Documentary and Written References relating to its Topography, including to the roads, gates, churches, chantries, town walls, the Great Bailey etc

© Bob Trett 2007

Circa 1090
"About the year 1090, Robert Fitzhamon, the newly-created earl of Gloucester, led his forces into Morgannwg, probably across the Severn Estuary. He conquered and annexed the cantref of Gwynllwg and , defeating the Welsh ruler of Morgannwg, converted that kingdom into his Norman lordship of Morgannwg. The invaders settled for the most part in the lowland commote between Newport and Cardiff and here Anglo-Norman methods of landholding were introduced and feudal manors established. ……
Fitzhamon seems to have established his first castle on Stow Hill near St. Woollos' Church, possibly on the site of the ancient court-house of Gwynllyw. Here the Norman 'motte' or castle mound remained until the 19th century. …..
His manor of Newport was at Stow near the church of St Woollos where, adjacent to the manor-house, was the usual complement of farm buildings, also pigeon cote and fishpond."

William Rees 'The Charters of the Borough of Newport in Gwynllwg' 1951
pages XII-XIII. Original source not given.

Undated (1094-1104)
Robert de Haya, with the assent of Robert fitz Hamon, the superior lord, granted the church of St. Gundlei (St.Woolos), to the church of Gloucester and the monks, Herewald, bishop of Landav, handing it, received from the hands of Robert de Haya, to the abbot Serlo of Gloucester, and investing him thereof canonically.

Translation by James Conway Davies Episcopal Acts Relating to Welsh Dioceses 1066-1272 Vol. II. page 612.
Published in Latin by W.H. Hart Historia et Cartilarium Monasterii S. Petri Gloucestriæ 1863. Vol. II. No. DIX, page 51.

Circa 1126(?)
"Robert, the King's son, Earl of Gloucester, to Robert Norris, Viscount and Prefect of St. Woollos, greeting: Know ye, that I have granted Picot (vicar) my chaplain, that he should occupy (for charitable purposes) his land which is between my castle and the church. And if my burgers are neutral by ancient custom, let his men also be neutral, and let the church have the tribute in the same manner as I have from my burgers. Signed and witnessed."

Translation given by James Matthews in 'Historic Newport' 1910 page 93.
Referring to Document 502 in 'Historia et Cartilarium Monasterii S. Petri Gloucestriæ'. Published version edited by W.H. Hart. 1863-7.

Charter of Robert, earl of Gloucester, confirming the gift of Malpas Village etc to Montacute Priory. It also refers to Novo Burgo (Newport)
(one of the earliest references to the existence of the town as a "New Borough")

See: Robert B. Patterson 'Earldom of Gloucester Charters' 1973. No.156 page 146.

Notification by M(Uthred), bishop of Landav, to all his parishioners and friends, clerks and lay, that the controversy and dissension between the monks of Basselach (Bassaleg) and Picot, chaplain of St. Gundlei (St Woolos), on the bounds of their parishes, were determined and defined in his presence ; the chapel of St Gladewis (St Gladys), which Laudomer built upon the river Eboth (Ebbw),and all tithes from that river to the river Usch (Usk),and from the bounds of the land of William de Bercherol to the sea, and all bodies of the dead shall remain freely and quit to the church of St Gundlei ; those tithes which Laudomer gave on the other side of the Eboth from his land to the church of St Gundlei shall remain to the church of St Basil.

Translation by James Conway Davies Episcopal Acts Relating to Welsh Dioceses 1066-1272 Vol. II. page 637.
Published in Latin by W.H. Hart Historia et Cartilarium Monasterii S. Petri Gloucestriæ 1863. Vol. II. No. DXVI, page 55

Undated (1147 - 1163/4)
Charter of William, earl of Gloucester, granting quittance from tolls to the Priory of Mary Magdalen at Goldcliff at Bristol, Cardiff and Newport. The charter also states Insuper dedi eis mesuagium extra murum in novo Burgo (Moreover I grant to them a messuage outside the walls in Newport).

See: Robert B. Patterson 'Earldom of Gloucester Charters' 1973. No.280 (93a)

Undated (1149-1183)
Notification by Robert, son of Loemer, to Nicholas, bishop of Landav, and all rectors and sons of Holy Church, that for the health of the souls of himself, Mabel, his wife, and his father and mother, he gives to St Gundlei (St Woolos) the tithe of his mill, in perpetual arms. That his gift may be ratified and preserved unbroken he confirms his gift by charter, under his seal, and on St Martins Day (11 November),before all the parish, presents his charter as an oblation on the altar of St Gundlei. And Robert, vicar of the said church calls the whole parish to witness this deed.

Translation by James Conway Davies Episcopal Acts Relating to Welsh Dioceses 1066-1272 Vol. II. page 661.
Published in Latin by W.H. Hart
Historia et Cartilarium Monasterii S. Petri Gloucestriæ 1863. Vol. II. No. DVIII, page 51

Undated (1155-1156)
Notification by T(heobald), archbishop of Canterbury, primate of the English, and legate, that having heard the witnesses of Hamelin, abbot of Gloucester, on the church of St. Gundlei (St. Woolos), namely three priest witnessing that they heard and saw Robert de Haya, with the assent of Robert fitz Hamon, the superior lord, grant the church of St. Gundlei to the church of Gloucester and the monks ; and Herewald, then bishop of Landav, handed it, received from the hands of Robert de Haya, to the abbot Serlo of Gloucester, and invest him thereof canonically ; also having heard another two lay witnesses, together with a priest, testify to have seen the monks in possession of the church of St. Gundlei, and the monks to receive the fruits, and that the same were testified in the archbishop's sight, the which they have confirmed by oath.

Translated by James Conway Davies Episcopal Acts Relating to Welsh Dioceses 1066-1272 1948. Vol.II pages 649-650.
Published in Latin by W.H. Hart Historia et Cartilarium Monasterii S. Petri Gloucestriæ 1863. Vol. II. No. DIX, page 51.

(Agreement) concerning a dispute between the abbot and convent of Gloucester and the prior and convent of Montacute and the prior of Malpas …. the abbot and convent of St Peters, Gloucester, or their assigns, should receive, peaceably and fully, all the tithes of Mendelgif, and of all things of old belonging to the church of Newport, without hindrance or annoyance.

Translated by James Conway Davies Episcopal Acts Relating to Welsh Dioceses 1066-1272 1948. Vol.II page 715.
Published in Latin by W.H. Hart Historia et Cartilarium Monasterii S. Petri Gloucestriæ 1863. Vol. II. No. DXXVII, pages 62-63.

1255 July 19th
Ordinance and taxation by John, Bishop of Landav …. The church of St Gundlei of Newport ….. the abbot and convent (St Peter's Abbey, Gloucester) should receive as rectors all tithes of sheaves and hay, also of all rent within the borough and without ; also they should have the whole land, the whole meadow, except two acres, which belong to the portion of the vicar, and the courtyard (curiam) belonging to the said church. The vicar should receive, as vicar, tithes of milk, wool, flax, lambs, oblations, and all other small tithes, and the said two acres of meadow, and the whole to the of hay at Henrevaur.

Translated by James Conway Davies Episcopal Acts Relating to Welsh Dioceses 1066-1272 1948. Vol.II. pages 737
Published in Latin by W.H. Hart Historia et Cartilarium Monasterii S. Petri Gloucestriæ 1863. Vol. II. No. DXXV, pages 61-62.

1324 March 4
Hugh Despenser as lord secured for his burgesses and tenants in Newport, Cardiff, Usk, Caerleon, Cowbridge, Neath and Kenfig release from all tolls, murage, pontage, picage, pavage, quayage, terrage, lastage, stallage, tronage and other customary dues levied on traders or their merchandise in royal boroughs in any lands ruled by Edward II.

Calendar of Charter Rolls 1300-1326 page 461
A.C. Reeves in Boroughs of Medieval Wales (edited by R.A. Griffiths) 1978 page 208

1361 October 8
Will of William Welsche
Bequests include 2s to the Vicar of St Gunley (Woollos) and 12d to the bridge of Newport.

Gwent Record Office. Deed D.43. 5491

Between Thomas, Abbot of Saint Peter's at Gloucester, and the convent of the same place, appropriate rectors of the parish church of Newport, of the one part and
Henry Tesdale, prior provincial in England of the order of Hermits of Saint Augustine, and brother Thomas Loche, the Prior, and the brethren of the same order at Newport
The said Abbot and convent, at the earnest request of the Lord Hugh, Earl of Stafford, their founder, have given to the said Prior or guardian, and the brethren, of the same order, licence, and free liberty, to erect, build, and construct an oratory or house of the said brothers hermits, upon those thirty-one burgages, being in the parish of their said church of Newport. …..
And lest the said Abbot, and convent … or their church of Newport, should suffer any loss in tithes, and oblations, arising from the places so given to them, … and likewise for the site of the chapel of Saint Nicholas, and the area, or land to the said chapel annexed, and adjoining … the Prior or guardian of the said house of brethren at Newport … shall pay an annual pension of 13s. 4d. to the vicar of their church of Newport.

Thomas Wakeman 'The Monastery of Austin Friars at Newport' 1859. pages 5-6.
Quoting a deed enrolled in the Ledger book or Chartulary of Gloucester Abbey.

1385 April 14
The first proper charter granted to the burgesses of Newport by Hugh, earl of Stafford. This was restated in the charter of 1427 and of 1476.

1403 August 9th
Gloucester and the adjacent March of Wales. Re. inquisition held at Thornbury.
In the dower of Anne his wife from the lands of Thomas late earl of Stafford …. In his demesne as of fee of the king in chief, service unknown, he held the castle and vil of Newport and the lordship of the county of Wenllwch, with its members in Stow, Rhymney, Dowlais, Pencarn, Dyffryn and Ebbw, with the manor, lordship and forest of Machen annexed to the lordship of Wenllwch, which was worth yearly before the insurrection of Owen de Glyndourdy £215 17s., but now nothing because all burnt, destroyed, wasted and made nought by Owen and other rebels in his company.

Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem. Vol.XVIII 1-6 Henry IV (1399-1405) page 272

1427 April 3rd
(confirming the Charter of Hugh, Second Earl of Stafford. 1385 April 14th)
Charter of Humphrey, Fifth Earl of Stafford, for the Burgesses of Newport in Wales.
….. And such are the bounds, viz., from the graveyard of St. Gwynllwg [St. Woollos] to the native lands of the lord formerly of Robert Houlot and John Dawe, the lands called Brendekyrgh, the croft called Corteyscroft there and the croft of Margery Watte thereto annexed, the lands formerly of Roger the Clerk called Coummicheshull, thence by the road as far as the chapel of St Thomas so that the entire road there be within the bounds of the town aforesaid, And thence along the road as far as Bryngelond, so that the entire road there be within the bounds of the aforesaid town, and so along the ditch between the lands and burgages of the Burgesses by descending of the water course of the mill of the lord, and so by the croft of the said Bryngelond and of other lands as far as the fishpond of Kemell, so that the entire water-course there be within the bounds of the aforesaid town, and so by the said fishpond as far as the stone called the Rock opposite the house of John ap Adam, thence beyond the road as far as the lands of the said John and of David ap Ieuan ap David, the lands called the Halys and the meadow called Crinde and so along the river to the Parkpull as far as Groundesende within our lordship and by the land as far as Crokeslonde, Mullond land, Kingshill and the lands of the Abbey of Gloucester as far as the said graveyard.

See: William Rees 'The Charters of the Borough of Newport in Gwynllwg' 1951

1433 May 5th
Grant by Humphrey, earl of Stafford, to John of Newport, burgess "To erect and maintain a tenement, situated on the walls of the town adjacent to Gervey's Gowte".

Gwent Record Office. Deed D.43.5458.
(N.B. entry from catalogue - original deed not located)


Death of Humphrey, 1st duke of Buckingham at the Battle of Northampton.
Minority of Henry 2nd duke of Buckingham.

The lordship of Newport and Wentllwg with their members (i.e. divisions or parts). Accounts of all and singular the ministers (i.e. local officers or agents of the lord) there in the time of William Lord Herbert farmer by letters patent (i.e. the person who administered and controlled the land and received rents - by authorisation of the king) during the minority of Henry, heir by blood of Humphrey lately duke of Buckingham.
Account of Morgan ap Jenkin ap Philip, improver there
2 shilling of free rent of Nest the daughter of Rosser concubine of Mr William Cady
The court of Stowe held at Rumney
The river called Nantmelyn, Longwarth near the Yoke.
The Charnel. Lands lying in an angle near Pilewell.
The road leading from Holeway towards Mendalgiff.
Acreman street at the higher end of Cowles. Long street.
The mountain near Bilescourt. Erleshyppon, Selwynhurne.
Thomas Arblaster, lately sheriff of Wentllwg. Field called King's hill.
Newport Borough:-
Accounts of Thomas Vaughan ap Rosser, mayor of the town there
Nor of £16 20s. ¾d. of rent of assize of the borough there with 22s.9d. of rent of divers burgages late in the tenure of the overseer of Stowe to be paid at certain times …. Nor of the farm of fishery waters which was accustomed to be sworn ….
Farm of the customs ….
Sum £32.
Thenceforth is reckoned in allowance of the rents of 3 burgages of the mayor by reason of his office 3s. And the rents of divers burgages being in the hands of the lord, void and burnt in the time of the Welsh rebellion as is reckoned by examination of the preceding accounts £4.
To be paid to brother Burghill. D.D., prior of Malpas, for his pension which ought to be received from ancient times to his priory 36s,

Ministers Accounts for the Lordship of Newport 1465-1466
Translation by Joseph Bradney A History of Monmouthshire Volume 5 The Hundred of Newport. Edited by Madeleine Gray. 1993. pages 7-8.

1473 January 4th
Licence for the king's kinsman Henry duke of Buckingham, kinsman and heir of Humphrey, late duke of Buckingham, tenant in chief, viz. son of his son Humphrey, to enter freely after Michaelmas last, without proof of age or other formality, into all castles, towns, lordships, cantreds, commotes, manors, lands, fee farms, annuities, reversions, rents, services, hundreds, offices, fees, views of frank-pledge, courts leet, sheriffs turns, liberties, franchises, fairs, markets, jurisdictions, knights' fees, advowsons and other possessions in England, Wales, the marches of Wales and the town of Calais of which the late duke was seized and which should descend to him.
By the King. Westminster

Calendar of Patent Rolls 12 Edward IV page 367

1476 September 16th
Charter from Henry Stafford, second duke of Buckingham, restating the charter of 1385. Additional right given to the burgesses to build a jail in the town for their own use.

A.C. Reeves Newport Lordship 1317-1536 1979. page 121
W. Rees The Charters of the Borough of Newport 1951. page53.

1484 January 7th

Grant for life to William Kemes of an annuity of 10 marks from the issues of the king's lordship of Newport in South Wales.

Calendar of Patent Rolls 1 Richard III page 414

1484 February 11th
Grant for life to the king's servant Thomas ap John, one of the yeomen of the king's chamber, of the office of porter of the castle of Newport in South Wales with custody of the warren of rabbits there, lately pertaining to Henry, late duke of Buckingham, and in the king's hands by reason of his rebellion, with wages of 4d. daily from issues of the lordship of Newport and all other profits.
By privy seal.

Calendar of Patent Rolls 1 Richard III page 405 and page 410

1484 May 11th
Grant to Nicholas Spicer, one of the esquires of the body, of the office of receiver of the lordships of Brekenoke, Neweport, Uske and Carlion in South Wales with fees of 20 marks yearly.

Calendar of Patent Rolls 1 Richard III page 437

1484 September 13th
Grant to James Tirell sheriff of the king's lordship of Wenllouk, and steward of the king's lordship of Newport, Wenllouk ……

Calendar of Patent Rolls 2 Richard III page 474

1484 September 25th
Appointment of William Mistelbroke and Richard Lusshe as auditors of castle and lordship of Newport …….

Calendar of Patent Rolls 2 Richard III

1502 November 10th
Will of Morgan ap David ap Thomas
Bequest of 12d to the Augustine Friars of Newport

Gwent Record Office deed. D.43.5500

1525 April 3rd
1) John Parker of Kairlion
2) James ap Watkin, Thomas ap Hopkyn of Newport, William Gunter and Lewis Phillip of Kairlion
Grant of two tenements in Newport between the tenements of Llew' ap Jevan Vaghan ap Mo' Veyth on the East, capell of St Lawrence on the West, abutting upon the high street going through the town on one side and the other abutting upon St Lawrence lane, which premises he lately purchased from John ap Howell Symond and Agnes Pryne his wife.

Gwent Record Office. Deed D43.467

1535 August 20th
1) William Moris Senior, of Stowe in St Woollos
2) William Hewse, a burgess of Newport
Assignment of a lease for 99 years held from the mayor and burgesses of Newport of land called Capthorne belonging to the church of St. Woollos

Tredegar Papers 1/1

Circa 1536-1539
The bridges of Cairleon and Newport be booth of wood.
From the haven mouth of Wisch (River Usk) to the mouth of Remney (Rumney) wher no haven is or cumming yn meete for shippes, a vi. miles. On this shore is no very notable thing. The bankes of it be clyvid inough to defend the se for raging into the low ground of Wenceland (Wentlooge).
Newport is a bigge towne wherof that parte where the paroche chirch is, stondith on a hille. The chirch is S. Guntle (Woolos), Olave in Englisch.
Ther is a great stone gate by the bridge at the este ende of the toun, a nother yn the middle of the town as in the High strete to passé thorough, and the third at the west end of the toune : and hard without it is the paroche chirch. The fairest of the toun is al yn one streate. The toun is yn ruine. Ther was a house of religion by the key beneth the bridg. The castelle is on the este side of the toun above the bridge.

Newport is in Wentlugh (Gwynll?g) a myle and more by foote path from Cairlion, and standeth on (the river) Uske, having a prety stronge town ; but I marked not whyther yt were waulled or no. There is a very fair castel longing sumtyme Bukkinghams.

The Itinerary in Wales of John Leland in or about the years 1536-1539.
Extracted from his Mss. Arranged and Edited by Lucy Toulmin Smith
(1906). Pages 14 and 45.

The House Late of the Black [recte Austin] Friars of Newport within the Bishopric of Llandaff.
Account of Morice Baker, farmer there during the aforesaid time.
Arrears: None because it is the first account of the same now computing on behalf of the lord the King.
Total: None.
But he answers for 3s. 4d. for the rent of the site late of the aforesaid house, with two rooms, one hall, kitchen and one garden, in the tenure of Morice Baker.
And 10s. rent of 6 acres of arable land lying within the aforesaid site called Freers Close in the tenure of the aforesaid Morice Baker.
Total 13s. 4d.
Sum total of the charge 13s. 4d. which he handed over to Edward Walter, Receiver of Particulars of the lord the King there, of the issue of his office for one year by a bill, signed in the hand of the said Receiver, and remaining among the memoranda of this year and so he withdrew this year quit.

Henry John Randall and William Rees, editors. 'First Financial Accounts after the Suppression'.
Published by South Wales and Monmouth Record Society. 1957. page 56.

1543 January 24th
(1) William Morgan of Caerllyon gent. and Jane Morgan of the same, widow formerly a relict of Lewis Blethyn gent
(2) William Janckyn of Newport

Release of one burgage within the borough of Newport in a place called le Greate Baylee between the land formerly of William Hugh, deceased, on the South, a lane called le litill streete on the North, the highway leading from the clock house to the bridge on the West. Also of Blethynis landes, Kyngishill, Brightor(?), Corneis lane

Tredegar Papers 58/38

1545 November 12th
Reference to a burgage within the Greate Baylee and to a lane called St Laurence's Lane

Tredegar Papers 58/34

1550 January 22nd
Grant to the king's councillor William Herbert, K.G., master of the Horse and President of the Council in Wales ; …… the late chantry called Jenkyn Clerkes Chauntrye within the parish church of Newporte, Monm. ; the late chantry called Morgan ap Rossys Chauntrye within the said parish church of Newporte ; the late chantry called Saynt Laurence Chappell in le Greate Baylye within the town of Newporte, Monm. …… except 20s. to the repair of Neweporte bridge out of Jenkyn Clerkes Chauntrye and 20s.out of Morgan ap Rossis Chauntrye and 6s. 8d. out of Saynt Laurence Chappell

Calendar of Patent Rolls. Edward VI. 1549 -1551 pages 416-417.

1564 December 17th
1) John Kemes of Llanllythan, gent.
2) Gylles Morgan of Newport, Esq.
Bargain and sale of lands in the parish of Saynt Wollos, including lands called the mylland, brandyer acre and kaye penetoyne.

Tredegar Papers 7/1

1570 September 13th

A survey of the rents in Newport due to the Earl of Pembroke.
The lists of burgages, tenements, etc. are given in the following locations:
" Ex parte orientali alte vie a Craks yate usque pontem (On the east side of the road by Crooks Gate [probably the West Gate] as far as the bridge). 16 rents.
" Subtus Corneslane (Behind Corn Lane) 14 rents.
" Subtus Skynners lane in parva ballia (Behind Skinners Lane in the Small Bailey). 2 rents.
" Infra magnam balliam (Within the Great Bailey). 3 rents
" Subtus venellam St. Laurencii (Behind St. Lawrence Lane) 7 rents
" Ex parte occidentali alte vie a Crookes yate usque pontem (On the west side of the road by Crooks Gate as far as the bridge). 21 rents. (rents include Thomas lloyde holding lez porches 2 pennies and Edmond Morgan of Bedweltie holding le crese 3 pennies)
" Subtus Paynes yate (Behind Paynes [Baneswell] gate) 9 rents
" Subtus novam portam parvae balliae (Behind the new gate of the Small Bailey). 6 rents.
" Infra magnam balliam (within the Great Bailey) 14 rents.
" Extra Hirstingeste diche a Crooks yate usque Paynes well (Outside Hirstingeste dyke as far as Paynes well) 14 rents (rents include Thomas lloyd holding a burgage called Longeheye 14 pennies and Will'm Thomas Buttry holding Crooks crose 2 shillings- possibly a reference to the cross which stood on the Stow Hill corner with present Havelock Street}
" A Paynes well usque le march extra portam borialem (From Paynes well [Banes well] as far as the boundary outside the North Gate). 3 rents.
" Infra regalem [viam] incipiens apud Roodehill in parte australi vie ibidem (Within/below the Royal road beginning near Roodehill on the southern side of the same road) 8 rents.
" A predicta porta usque molendinum in eadem parte vie (From the aforesaid gate as far as the mill on the same side of the road) 5 rents.
" Ex parte boreali vie a Rode Hill incipiens extra regalem viam usque molendinum {From the north side of the road to Rode Hill beginning beyond the royal road as far as the mill}. 18 rents.
" Via Rodehill juxta Briglonde usque molendinum (The road [at] Rodehill near to Bringlonde as far as the mill) 2 rents.
" Maderscoste (Maderscrofte) 8 rents.
" A fonte St. Gunlei juxta Kingshill usque aquam de Uske (By St. Gwynllyw's [Woolos] spring near to Kingshill as far as the water of the Usk 3 rents. Roger Will'm holding Caniscrofte 24 pennies ob., Morgan ap Hoell holding le pole heye 6 pennies, Roger Will'm holding Smale Acere 2 pennies.)
" Grenelane (Green Lane) 1 rent.
" Cornislane (Corn Lane) 14 rents
" Pilelane (Pill Lane) 1 rent.
" Skinnerslane (Skinners Lane) 5 rents
" Venella St. Laurencii (St. Lawrence Lane) 7 rents. (includes Villa [i.e. the town] holding le Greene)
" Tenentes per indenture (Tenants by indenture [i.e. by deed] )
(Maltilda Hayle widow holds … 1 parcel of enclosed vacant land, 2½ burgages adjacent to the fosse [i.e. ditch or moat] of the castle of the lord in the same place, with 2 parcels of the said fosse by the boundary stones(?) and boundaries, by ancient usage and custom … in return for a rent and repairing the fosse etc. 2 shillings 6 pennies.
Lewes Thomas holds several burgages namely 7 in 1 enclosed place, inherited by him, lying near to Corn Lane. 7 shillings
Anna [namely] Saunder. 1 garden adjacent to and near lez Spittelhouse
[hospital]. 2 pennies.
Will'us Watkin. 1 garden to him, adjacent to and near lez Spittelhouse.
2 pennies.

National Library of Wales Ms. 17008D.
See: Bradney J. A History of Monmouthshire Volume 5. The Hundred of Newport. 1993. pages 32 - 35.

1594 September 16th
Letter of Attorney from Lady Florence Herbert of St. Julian's to William Evans re. Manor House etc. at Newport.

Gwent Record Office. Deed D.43 1594

An acte for the repairing of the Bridges of Newport and Carlion, in the County of Monmouth.
That whereas a certain great bridge of timber called Newport bridge is standing over the River of Uske, in the Countie of Monmouth, and is, and of long time hath bene the meetest, and most necessary passage and high way, that leadeth into the parts of South wales, and out of the same to London, Bristowe, and other parts of England, and is of late fallen to great ruine and decay, and likely dayly (not repaired) to become not passable, whereby the saide high way shall bee from henceforth utterly taken away, to the great hinderance and hurt of a great multitude of your Highnesse Subjects, travailing into those parts : as also by reason of the great povertie of the Inhabitants of the saide Townes of Newport and Carlion … that the Inhabitants in the Shire, and Countie of Monmouth, shall stand for evermore chargeable for the maintenance, repairing, amending, and newe making of the foresayde Bridges of Newport and Carlion …

39 Elizabeth Chapter 23.

1612 November 29th
1) Anthony Welsh of Lanwarne, gent., Elizabeth his wife, Henry Morgan of the ffriers near Newport, gent., and fflorence his wife
2) Thomas Morgan of Ruerperry Esq.
Bargain and sale of parcels of land in St. Woolos, including the Mylland, the Bumland, Brandire acre, and Bleathin's land.

Tredegar Papers 7/4

1617 February 14th
1) Maurice Jones yeoman of Newport
2) William Morgan gent of Lantrissen
Release and Quitclaim £20 of half a house and half a garden adjoining, between the land of William Morgan Kt., on the south, the land of Thomas Morgan Esq. of Wilton on the west, the Common ditch on the north, and the King's highway through the town on the east.

Gwent Record Office. Deed D43.6121

1621 April 24th
1) Thomas Morgan esq. of Ruerprey (Ruperra) co. Glamorgan
2) William Morgan gent. his brother of Lantrissen, Monmuth
Appointment of Attourney to enter a curtilage or parcel of land and garden, containing a burgage, formerly of Morgan ap David ap Gllym ap Meyricke lying in the Great Bailey in Newporte, to take possession according to a charter made to Thomas Morgan by Walter Thomas of Newporte.

Gwent Record Office. Deed D43.5492

1653 November 1st
1) Edmond Morgan of Penlloynsarth Esq., Margarett his wife, and Henry Morgan gent., eldest son and heir of the said Edmond.
2) Thomas Morgan of Machen Esq., and Edward Morgan of Lanthewy Ritherch gent.
3) Harry Morgan of Riska, gent.
Agreement in consideration of a proposed marriage between the said Anne, one of the daughters of the said Thomas Morgan, to levy a fine (for settlement of estates and provision of a jointure) of ………. a messuage called Coulde toppe in St Wooloes ……..

Tredegar Papers 8/1

1663 June 20th
1) Edmond Morgan the elder of Newport, co. Mon., esquire, Henry Morgan of Penlloynesarth co. Mon., esquire, son and heir of the said Edmond Morgan the elder, and Edmond Morgan the younger, gent., second son of the said Edmond Morgan the elder
2) Thomas Morgan of Tredegar, co. Mon., esquire
Mortgage in 200 _ paid to one Hugh Williams in settlement of a debt owing from the said Edmond Morgan the elder, of a messuage and tenement of land called Allterin otherwise Alter yr-yn containing 40 acres lying within the parish of St Woolloes ……..

Tredegar Papers 80/36

1668 March 18th
1) William Morgan of Tredegir Esq.
2) ffrancis Pettingall of Newport
Lease for three lives of a messuage, one cartilage, one garden, and one parcel of garden called St. Lawrence Churchyard in the town of Newport, a parcel of lands called Kaeyr ffynnor in St. Wollos, and 2 parcels in Christchurch, but reserving timber and minerals.

Tredegar Papers 7/10

1679 September 30th
1) Vavasor Williams, corviser (shoe maker) of Newport
2) John Plumley gent. of Newport
Release of three dwellings in Mill streete opposite to Saint Thomas' Well and now in the occupation of Thomas Seys, Prissilla Edmond and Elizabeth Morgan.

Gwent Record Office. Deed D43.3489

1719 February 1st
1) John Young, grocer, of Newport, Joan his wife and John Young tobacconist of London (first and only son and heir of John and Joan).
2) Thos. Clifford, gent, of Newport.
Lease of a messuage called the store house containing one store house or warehouse and a salt house or place for refining or making of salt in Newport in a lane leading from the Middle Gate towards the river of Uske and adjoining the lands of John Morgan Esq. of Tredegar and the Pill vulgarly called Arthur's Pill.

Gwent Record Office. Deed D43.3319

1720 October 26th
1) Lewis Morgan Esq. of the Stow, St. Woollos
2) William John Charles, carpenter, of Lanvihangel Juxta Lantarnum
Lease of the site of a ruined ox house and stable and rickyard in Mill Street, Newport.

Gwent Record Office. Deed D43.1413

1) Lewis Morgan of the Stow, Saint Woollos
2) Thomas Clyfford, Gent., of Newport
Release of the Fryers Newport, now in the tenure of Thomas Thorne, storehouse with parcel of wast ground called The Waterside and The Key and a wharf in Newport now in tenure of John Lewis, messuage and garden in Newport now in the tenure of Thomas Wilkins, messuage and lands in Saint Woollos called The Connyger in the tenure of Thomas Frost and Thomas Edwards, lands in Saint Woollos called Cae Coch, etc in the tenure of Morgan Thomas, five closes of land in Saint Woollos in the tenure of Thomas Thorne, messuage and farm in Monythyslloin in the tenure of Jenkin John Morgan.

Gwent Record Office. Deed D43.3321

1735 November 17th
1) Blanch Morgan and Catherine Morgan, spinsters of Newport
2) Mary Jones widow, victualler, of Newport and Thomas Hughes, shoemaker, and Elizabeth his wife
Lease for one year of messuage, with outhouses, cartilage etc. in Newport, now or late in the occupation of Edward Harry, shoemaker or his under-tenants, between the house of William Morgan of Tredegar in the possession of Morgan Jenkins Taylor, house of Henry Morgan Esq., of Penllwyn in the possession of Eunice Gilbert, widow, and adjoining to the orchard of Charles Griffiths gent. of Llaneravon, in the possession of Thomas Dumayn, maltser, and to the street leading from the Markett house towards the Middle Gate.

Gwent Record Office. Deed D43.644

1745 March 14th
1) Edward Williams gent., of Pencarn, Bassaleg
2) William Seys Esq., of Newport
Lease of a piece of ground called Kair Graig in Saint Woolos, having the lands of Lewis Morgan esq., deceased, and the lane leading from Stow to Munjoy on all or most sides.

Gwent Record Office. Deed D43.1415

Lease between Joseph and Mary Newton of London, Catherine Halfpenny, and John Blewitt and William Kemeys
Respective shares of the lower Friars, with cider mill, gardens, two pieces of land, warehouse with wharfs and docks; piece of rough ground adjoining wharfs and key.

Gwent Record Office. Deed D.43.3322

The quaint old market house (16th or 17th century?) was erected in the middle of the street (High Street) opposite the present handsome post office. It was a curious remnant of architecture, with ponderous roof-work, massive gable ends, low antiquated gate and doorways. The market house remained many years in a ruinous condition, until at length it became a public danger, when it was taken down in 1793.

James Matthew 'Historic Newport' 1910. pages 87-88.

1798 May 13th
Order to construct wharfs and warehouses to the Monmouthshire Canal at Friars Field and Cinder Hill on the lands of William Kemeys, Catherine Halfpenny, Mary Newton, Charles Morgan, John Jones and Anthony Montonnier Hawkins.

The wharf to be raised above the highest tide or one foot above the top water in the canal, with small stone and gravel stained yellow.

A quay 45 feet long to be built at the Moderator Slip for a landing place, and a wall from there to the top of the wharf and a crane for lifting goods etc. from the loading place to the wharf, canal, or warehouse.

A warehouse to be built 36 feet by 18 feet.

The whole length of the inside of the canal next to the river to be walled from bottom to one foot above top water.

Seven loading quays to be built on the side of the river, about 20 feet high. The top to be above the highest tides 16 feet wide with proper docks for vessels toile there.

Rail roads to be made from the loading quay to the canal for small wagons to run upon, and a partition of 4 inch planking between the wagons and the canal, that the coal may be thrown from the boat to wharf.

Gwent Record Office. Deed D43.1299

On the demolition of the "Westgate" prison in February, 1799, a new prison was built in Mill Street

James Matthews 'Historic Newport' 1910. page 89.

"Newport was once surrounded by walls, though no vestiges at present remain. Three gates are mentioned by Leland as existing in his time, of which the site of the eastern and the western may still be traced. The pivots belonging to the hinges of the east gate, near the bridge, are discernible in the walls. The western, which was used as the town prison, has been lately taken down; it was an ancient structure in the gothic style, built of red grit stone, with a shield charged with a chevron on each façade (these appear to be the arms of Ralph Stafford).
Near this gate, in the high street, is an old spacious building, with an ornamental front, and a coat of arms, carved in stone, over the door. This was called the murenger's house….

Leland mentions a house of religion in Newport 'by the quay beneth the bridge'. The remains of this friary still exist, near the banks of the Usk, below the bridge. They consist of several detached buildings containing comfortable apartments, and a spacious hall, with gothic windows, neatly finished in free stone; the body of the church is dilapidated; but the northern transept is a small and elegant specimen of gothic architecture. It is now occupied by a cider mill, and the press is placed in a small recess which was once a chapel, separated from the transept by a bold and lofty arch. The gardens are enclosed within the original walls."

William Coxe 'An Historical Tour of Monmouthshire' 1801. Vol.I. pages 48 and 56.

1807 March 26th
Lease of land by Sir Charles Morgan to the Tredegar Wharf Co.
Of all that garden and orchard or part where of lately stood cottages and messuages …. lately agreed for or conveyed to the said Sir Charles Morgan by John Jones and is bounded by the street leading from the Westgate to the Cinderhill Wharf by the main street of Newport, by the lane going from the Westgate to the Friars Fields, by another lane leading out of the last mentioned lane to the Cinderhill wharfs, and by a ditch which divides it from other land and garden ground of the said Sir Charles Morgan. ALSO all that piece or parcel of meadow containing 4 acres, commonly called Cae Pitchog, except a small part thereof, agreed to be conveyed to John Jones now in the possession of Anthony Montonnier Hawkins. ALSO all those 5 pieces of arable and meadow land containing by measurement 15 acres and 24 perches now in the possession of Mary Jenkins. ALSO a certain messuage and garden known by the name of the Red Cow with its appurtances late of the property of John Jones and a garden to the northward and southward thereof, all which … are situated in the parish of St Woolos, having the Sirhowy tramroad on the south, lands of the said Sir Charles Morgan on the west and south, the main street of Newport to the north-west and premises of the Rev. Mr Davies and late Colton's to the north and a lane leading from the Westgate Inn towards the said tram road on the east. And ALSO all those 62 pieces of arable, meadow, and pasture land containing by measurement 202 acres for the same more or less, situate lying and being in the said parish of St. Woolos in the said county of Monmouth, having the River Usk on the south and south-east parts thereof, a lane leading to the Hundred Acre Pill from and out of a certain road going from St Woolos Church to Mendlegief Common on the south part thereof, the lands of Mr Phillips and lands of Mr Thomas Edwards in part and the said road leading from St Woolos Church to Mendlegief Common on the west except a half acre which is to the west of the said road, the Sirhowy tramroad leading from the weighing machine near Court-y-bella to Newport on the south and lands of John Jones of Llanarth and a field of William Kemeys on the east and north part and sides thereof, all which here mentioned premises are more particularly delineated and described on the plan schedule.

Gwent Record Office. Deed D43.677

Newport Workhouse, Stow Hill, which stands on the site of the "Old Stow Fair," was both a House for the poor and a Barracks for the military in 1839.

James Matthews 'Historic Newport'. 1910. page 258.

(PRN 00193g Site of Newport Mill - now the slip road north of Old Green Roundabout and Newport Castle. ST 3110 8856)

In the gable end of a building, now forming the flour mill in Mill street, opposite the Pontypool Railway Station, are the traces of a large gothic window, which from its size was apparently of the fourteenth century. This building is most probably the remains of that scared edifice (chapel of St Lawrence) (i).

(i)  From other records this would not appear to be St Laurence Chapel.

Thomas Wakeman 'The Monastery of Austin Friars at Newport with notes on the House of Blackfriars and other minor ecclesiastical establishments' page 9.
Monmouthshire and Caerleon Antiquarian Society. 1859.

The third "Westgate" of the Victorian Jubilee era was under the proprietorship of Mr Samuel Dean from 1884, and remained so down to a recent period. Mr Dean, who witnessed the alterations during the taking down of the old and erecting the present buildings, says:- "In excavating underneath the old (Chartist) Westgate Hotel, preparing the foundations of the present building, the workmen came across an old spiral stairway, and at the bottom a stone porch, forming the entrance into a subterraneous passage or subway, was discovered, leading under the road (Stow Hill) in the direction of Messrs. Smith's property. The contractor being satisfied did not proceed further, and the place was filled in."

James Matthews 'Historic Newport' 1910. page 108.

1884 July 11th

AN INTERESTING RELIC. When the men employed in demolishing the Westgate Hotel were at work on the Stow Hill corner, they came upon a small stone-archway, which some think may have formed part of the old west gate of the town.
The gate, which had been pulled down before the hotel was built, stood at the foot of Stow Hill, and the archway unearthed a few days since, is supposed to have existed for the convenience of pedestrians. How this remnant could have been enclosed in the hotel masonry is however a perplexing question.
Octavius Morgan Esq., and other gentleman versed in antiquities here, have inspected the fragment without being able to suggest a reason for its presence where found.
On Tuesday the Mayor and other members of the Corporation were grouped in front of the arch and photographed by Mr Villers.

The Monmouthshire Merlin July 11th 1884. page 4.

(PRN 00157g. Stow Hill Motte - Stow Park Avenue ST 3047 8745)
In a field within a short distance of the church (St Woollos), formerly very well known, there was, not long ago, a moated mound, on the summit of which was planted a group or clump of fir-trees, and it was called "The Fir-Tree Field". There are several of these mounds about the country. They consist of a circular, conical mound having a flat, table-top, usually about 50 feet in diameter, and surrounded by a deep foss or moat. The mound is now in the grounds of Springfield, laid out by the late Mr Gething, who built the house. It is, however, no longer a mound, but is buried up to the top with the spoil brought up to the surface by the shafts during the excavation of the tunnel of the Great Western Railway, which runs underneath. Its site, however, is still marked ; for in order to preserve it, as the fir-trees were all cut away, I suggested to Mr Gething, when he was laying out his grounds, to collect together the large masses of rock brought up out of the tunnel, and place them in the form of a cairn on the summit of the mound where the fir trees had stood. This he did, and the spot and the size of the summit of the mound are still preserved by the heap of large stones. The diameter of the top was exactly 50 feet. It used to be sometimes called "the Grave of St Wollos" ; but that was incorrect, as these mounds were not burial-places, but the dwellings or strongholds of the chieftains or rulers of the district."

Charles Octavius Swinnerton Morgan 'History and Descent of the Lordship of Wentllwch".
Archaeologia Cambrensis Vol. II. 1885. pages 261 - 262.

© Bob Trett 2007

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