Newland, Gloucestershire

Newland is a village in the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, England. situated on the east side of the River Wye, 3 miles (5 km) south-east of Monmouth. It is notable for its parish church of All Saints, known as the 'Cathedral of the Forest'. It was the centre of a large parish with complex boundaries and scattered settlements.

All Saints Church Newland Gloucestershire - - 107131.jpg
All Saints Church, Newland
Newland is located in Gloucestershire
Location within Gloucestershire
Population1,033 (2011)[1]
OS grid referenceSO554093
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townMonmouth
Postcode districtNP25
AmbulanceSouth Western
UK Parliament
List of places
51°46′53″N 2°38′45″W / 51.7813°N 2.6459°W / 51.7813; -2.6459Coordinates: 51°46′53″N 2°38′45″W / 51.7813°N 2.6459°W / 51.7813; -2.6459

The churchEdit

The church, dedicated to All Saints, was founded shortly before 1216. It was sited on a low, flat-topped hill, sheltered by higher hills except to the south where the land descends to the River Wye. The church comprises a chancel with side chapels, an aisled nave with south chapel and south porch, and a west tower.[2] The tower was begun in the late 13th century, although the upper stages are of the late 14th or early 15th century. The chancel, the chapel south of it, the arcades and aisles, and the south porch are mainly 14th century features, and the north and east chapels were added in the 15th century. The church was thoroughly restored between 1861 and 1863 by William White, who reconstructed much of the chancel, the arcades, and the north aisle wall. Buttresses were added, new roofs were put on, and the clerestory was heightened.[2]

The church contains several effigies including that of Sir John and Lady Joyce of Clearwell who died in 1344 and 1362 respectively, and an effigy of Jenkin Wyrall, Forester of Fee (died 1457), which shows details of the hunting costume of that period.[3] It also contains the "Miners Brass", just 1 ft (30 cm) high, which depicts a helmet, crest and figure of a mediaeval miner of the Forest of Dean with a hod and pick in his hand and candlestick in his mouth.[3] The church is often referred to as the 'Cathedral of the Forest'.[4]

The villageEdit

The church had attracted buildings around it by the mid 14th century. One of the earliest chantry grammar schools was founded here by Joan Greyndour in the 1440s. A house for the school's master was built near the church.[5] The church became the most significant point of reference in the large, dispersed parish: in the late Middle Ages and until the 17th century the village was known as Churchend.[2] The chantry school ended in 1547 but it was restarted in the name of Thomas Bell after 1577.[5]

In the 15th and 16th centuries an unofficial market was held at Newland village, the traders taking advantage of the large numbers congregating at the parish church on Sundays and feast days. It probably lapsed during the 17th century when Coleford became a market town. William Jones of Monmouth endowed almshouses in this his home village of Newland.[6] They are still run by the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers who have been the guardians of the almshouses since their establishment.[7][8] With the growth of Coleford, Newland remained small and mainly residential with two sets of almshouses, a grammar school, and in the mid 18th century a successful private school.[2]

The parishEdit

Newland parish was created in the early Middle Ages by assarting woodland and waste from the Forest of Dean, and its formation was well under way by the start of the 13th century, when the parish church was built. The main block of the parish was formed by the tithings of Newland, Clearwell, and Coleford, but by the 14th century other scattered parcels of land in the Forest were being indiscriminately added to the parish as they became assarted from the Forest waste, which meant that the parish gained 22 detached parts.[2] The largest detached portion of the parish included Bream village. Coleford tithing became a separate civil parish in 1894, and the detached parts were added to other parishes between 1883 and 1935.[2]

The Newland OakEdit

A short distance north of the village (grid reference SO551099) stood the Newland Oak, which it is claimed had the largest circumference of any Common Oak (Quercus robur) ever recorded.[9] Measurements taken by the Royal Scottish Arboricultural Society in 1898 record that the tree had a girth of 46 ft 4 in (14.12 m) ) at a 1 ft (30 cm) height. By 1950 the tree had lost several large limbs, and the tree suffered a near fatal collapse during a snowstorm in May 1955. The remnants of the tree were set on fire by vandals in 1970. Cuttings were taken in December 1964, and a new tree raised from one of these cuttings now stands where the old oak stood.[9]


  1. ^ "Parish population 2011". Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Newland Archived 9 February 2013 at the Wayback Machine, A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 5: Bledisloe Hundred, St. Briavels Hundred, The Forest of Dean (1996), pp. 195-231. Accessed: 17 April 2013
  3. ^ a b Newland Archived 5 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine, ForestWeb (fweb), Accessed: 17 April 2013
  4. ^ All Saints Church, Newland, Gloucestershire Archived 27 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine. Accessed: 17 April 2013
  5. ^ a b "Greyndour [née Rigge; other married name Barre], Joan (c. 1400–1485), school founder". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/107508. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  6. ^ "Heritage Explorer: William Jones' Almshouses". Archived from the original on 25 January 2016. Retrieved 17 January 2012.
  7. ^ Brown, Patrick (1981). Buildings of Britain 1550-1750 South West England. Moorland Publishing. pp. 62–63. ISBN 9780861900305.
  8. ^ "William Jones' Almshouses". National Heritage List for England. Historic England. Archived from the original on 6 September 2020. Retrieved 6 September 2020.
  9. ^ a b Historical Information on Big Trees Archived 14 June 2013 at the Wayback Machine,, retrieved 9 May 2013

External linksEdit