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Newnham

Towns and Villages in or near Newnham


Description

Newnham on Severn is on the west bank of the River Severn, around 10 miles south-west of Gloucester and three miles southeast of Cinderford. The village has a parish council. A parish church was established in the 14th century (although there had been a chapel of ease since 1018), and in 1366 a new church building was dedicated as the old one faced erosion from the river. The new building has itself been damaged by a gunpowder explosion in 1644 during the English Civil War and a fire in 1881, but is still in use.

Newnham's strategic location on the Severn meant that the Ancient Romans built three roads through the location, where they forded the river. The Anglo-Saxons established a permament settlement, the Normans fortified it against the Welsh, and in medieval times it became a major port with links around Great Britain and Ireland. In 1171, Henry II of England staged an invasion of Ireland from Newnham. One account claimed that he set sail with 400 ships and 5,000 men, which indicates the importance of the port. For a while it was the most successful Gloucestershire town west of the Severn. However, its role as a port and trading hub declined with rapidly with the 1827 opening of the Gloucester and Sharpness Canal.

Newnham lies on a great bend in the river. It is one of the best places for viewing the famous Severn Bore, the wave that is created when the incoming tide from the Bristol Channel is funnelled into the narrow Severn Estuary. Small scale bores occur throughout the year, but at certain times, usually in early spring or late autumn, tidal conditions can generate a wave of up to nine feet in height - a great challenge to surfers and canoeists.


Features

  • Towns and Villages

Location




O/S Ref: SO 6911

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Situated on the banks of the River Severn on the A48, Gloucester to Chepstow road.

  • Cinderford
  • Lydney
  • Newnham
  • Westbury-on-Severn