Kelly's 1848 Newport Directory

Butchers 1876 Newport Directory

Johns' 1897 Newport Directory

Johns' 1914 Newport Directory

Johns' 1938 Newport Directory

Newport Pubs

Newport Residents in Usk Gaol

Baptisms at the Great Central Hall 1908 - 1932

Newport (St Woolos) 1845 Tithe Map and Apportionment

Newport (Christchurch) 1840 Tithe Map and Apportionment


Newport Directory


(Extracted from “The Book of South Wales and the Bristol Channel” by Cliffe.)

Few places have risen more rapidly during the present century than Newport, called by Giraldus Novus Burgus, or New Town, after the decline of Caerleon. Leland (temp. Henry VIII.) styled it “a town in ruin;” and Archdeacon Coxe, nearly fifty years since, described it as dirty and ill paved. The population at the last census was 13,996. Since which there has been a rapid increase, for we are informed that in 1847, the number, including the parish of Saint Woollos, is not less than 18,000, without the military in the barracks. Few places have a more thoroughly commercial aspect. At the opening of the New Docks in 1842, the chairman spoke of Newport as “an Infant Liverpool,” and little doubt can be entertained that it will become a large and very important place before the end of the present century. The traffic of five great mineral valleys - Crickhowell, Pontypool, Ebbw Vale, Sirhowy and Rumney - converges at this their natural outlet to the sea; and when we state that the mineral wealth thrown off by Monmouthshire now amounts-to nearly three millions annually, our prospective view cannot be deemed extravagant. Newport commands another advantage in a magnificent river, with spring tides varying from 36 to upwards of 40 feet, and it will very soon possess railways to the east, west and north. Bristol, now rising from her lethargy, begins to be jealous.

The Docks, which were opened on the 10th October, 1842, after a sum of £180,000 had been expended in their construction, are the keystone to the prosperity of the port, which previously was a dry harbour. A fine ship of 1,200 tons, with sails set and yards manned, floated through the lock with perfect ease on the occasion. The area of the dock is 4½ acres, but there is another dock of a similar size close at hand, which, although not yet completed, and therefore temporarily used as a reservoir, will be called for soon. The width of the main lock is 62 feet, length 202 feet, and vessels of 1000 tons register have with ease entered and loaded in the dock. The export of minerals here in 1847, approximate to those of Cardiff. In 1829 there were - iron, 108,726 tons; coal, 471,625 tons. Since this period the iron trade of the district has doubled, and the coal trade increased nearly one-third.


    1845 1846  
  Exports of iron, 216,704 tons 215,014 tons.  
  Exports of coal, 676,831 tons 647,816 tons.  


In addition, a large quantity of tin plates and merchandize, including oak timber and bark, is annually exported. The value of the iron- probably averages £8 10s. per ton, and the coal 8s. 6d. per ton. There was a slight declension in the exports of coal in 1846, as compared with the three previous years, in consequence of several coal owners, whose trade was previously confined to Newport, having partially removed their shipping trade to Cardiff. The chief increase in the coal trade has taken place in the white-ash coal, which is largely used for steam purposes. Until the coal duty was repealed, Newport and Cardiff, under the powers of an Act passed early in the present century, possessed a peculiar advantage, viz.: a right to ship coals free of duty, which was extended to all ports “east of the Holmes,” thus shutting out all the ports to the westward. The annual shipments from Newport to Bridgwater alone, under this monopoly, exceeded 100,000 tons; but under free trade in coal, the price at Cardiff has been reduced 1s. 6d. per ton, to the level of Newport, to meet competition, and the exports there, previously small, has become enormous.

The antiquities of Newport are the Castle and Saint Woollos Church. The town was once walled, and three gates existed in Leland’s day. The Castle was built by the celebrated Robert Fitzhamon, in the reign of William Rufus, chiefly for the purpose of defending the passage across the river, but also to aid him to maintain the newly-conquered Lordship of Glamorgan. It formed part of the dowry of Mary, heiress of Sir William Herbert, of Cherbury. The square tower, which now forms the principal feature, was probably the Keep: the remains of the baronial hall are worth looking at, but the commercial character which has been given to the structure discourages the archaeologist. Saint Woollos Church stands on an eminence, and is an interesting structure with a Saxon nave. The western doorway, which leads from a chapel dedicated to Saint Mary, is also romanesque, highly enriched. The tower was built by Henry III., “in gratitude for the attachment of the townsmen to his cause.”

Amongst the objects of interest in the neighbourhood of Newport is Tredegar Park, the seat of Sir Charles Morgan, Bart,, a house erected in the reign of Charles II. The late Sir Charles Morgan was, perhaps, the most perfect remaining example of “the fine Old English Gentleman.” A revenue of more than £14,000 a year is said to be obtained by the Tredegar family from the Sirhowy Tram-road, which skirts and partly passes through the Park. One of the rooms in this house, 42 feet long and 27 feet broad, is said to have been floored and wainscotted from a single oak.