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NEWPORT, MONMOUTHSHIRE

Site Details

© Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey licence number 0100022206

NPRN 300110

Map Reference ST38NW

Grid Reference ST3101088330

Unitary (Local) Authority Newport

Old County Monmouthshire

Community Stow Hill

Type of Site CITY

Broad Class CIVIL

Period Multiperiod

Site Description According to tradition, Newport developed following St. Gwynllyw’s foundation of a church at the top of Stow Hill in the late fifth or early sixth century, though there is no evidence to support this claim. It appears that there was a Welsh settlement, with some Saxon influences, on the site by the tenth century, and following the Norman Conquest of England Robert de Hay is believed to be responsible for the construction of the motte on Stow Hill around which the town grew at the lowest point on the River Usk. Newport Castle (NPRN 93389) was completed in the mid- to late-fourteenth century, and a town charter of 1427 confirmed its status as a market town which controlled the river crossing.
Newport remained little changed until the eighteenth century, when the coal industry began to increase exponentially, and the town rapidly grew into the largest town in Wales, dependent upon its inland dock complex (nprn 91413). The opening of the Monmouthshire Canal in 1799, made Newport docks the outlet for all iron and coal production of the Monmouthshire Valleys of Ebbw, Sirhowy and Afon Llwyd. In 1839 the town was the site of the Chartist Riots (NPRN 405003), in which 20 people were killed and many more injured.
Newport remained an important trading centre, and the nineteenth century saw the completion of the Town Hall (NPRN 32010), Market Hall (NPRN 31986) and Assembly Rooms (NPRN 31973).
The presence of the docks made Newport an important target for enemy bombers during World War Two. Although not attacked with the same intensity as Swansea or Cardiff, the town suffered several hundred air raids, starting in June 1940. The most serious raids were probably those at the end of May and the beginning of July 1941 which caused the greatest loss of life and heaviest damage.
The town was made a city in 2002 and is now a centre of technology and industry. It is also noted for the medieval ship (NPRN 307059) which was retrieved from the river and is currently undergoing conservation and research.
Source: A Guide to the Industrial Archaeology of South East Wales, AIA, 2003
RCAHMW, 21 January 2010.

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