"ST. BRIAVEL'S, a parish in the hundred to which it gives name, in the county of Gloucester, 7 miles to the N. of Chepstow. It is situated in a beautiful country on the E. bank of the river Wye, and is a very ancient place. A castle was founded here in the reign of William II. by the Fitzwalters, of which the gatehouse, flanked by two round towers, still remains; it is now the property of the crown, but is gradually sinking into decay, though the parish school is still held in one of the rooms. The privilege of holding a market was granted to the town by Edward II., but it has long ceased to be exercised. The inhabitants, however, still use their ancient right to cut wood in a certain district of the Forest of Dean. The hoops, poles, and other articles which they make of the wood, are sent to Bristol. Many hands are employed in the neighbouring coal-works.
The living is a very old vicarage, for some time held with that of Lydney, but now disunited; the patrons are the Dean and Chapter of Hereford, who have the great tithes, and are in fact the rectors. The church, an ancient edifice in the form of a cross, is in the Norman and early English styles, and is dedicated to St. Mary. The charitable endowments of the parish produce about £16 a year. The crown is lord of the manor. St. Briavel's Common now forms part of the parish, and has its poor-rates, &c., levied just like the rest; but as yet no ecclesiastical assignment has been made, nor do the people dwelling on it pay tithe."
"BEARSE, a hamlet in the parish and hundred of St. Briavel's, in the county of Gloucester, 7 miles to the N. of Chepstow. It is situated near the river Wye."
"FENCE, a hamlet in the parish and hundred of St. Briavel's, county Gloucester, near Coleford."
"HUDNOLLS, an extra parochial place in the parishes of Hewelsfield and St. Briavel's, hundred of St. Briavel's, county Gloucester, 5 miles N.E. of Chepstow. It is situated near the river Wye and Brockwear Common, on the borders of Monmouthshire."
"LOWER MEAN, an extra parochial place, county Gloucester, 8 miles N.W. of Berkeley. It is joined with St. Briavel's."
"MAWKINS-HAZELLS, a hamlet in the parish and hundred of St. Briavel's, county Gloucester."
"ST. BRIAVEL'S COMMON, a hamlet in the parish of St. Briavel's, in the hundred of the same name, in the county of Gloucester. It is situated on the river Wye, and includes the liberties of Lower Mean and Hudnells, which are joined to it."
"THE FENCE, an extra parochial place adjoining the parish of St. Briavell's, county Gloucester, 9 miles S.W. of Newnham."
[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]
- Original source material relating to Saint Briavels, and other parishes in Diocese of Gloucester may be found at the Gloucestershire Archives.
- The transcription of the section for St Briavels from the National Gazetteer (1868) provided by Colin Hinson.
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