Lydney

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Lydney is a small town and civil parish in the English county of Gloucestershire. It is located on the west bank of the River Severn, close to the Forest of Dean. The town lies on the A48 road, next to the Lydney Park gardens with its Roman temple in honour of Nodens. Lydney is twinned with Bréhal, Manche, northwest France

The Severn Railway Bridge crossed just north of Lydney from Purton to Sharpness on the eastern bank. Built in the 1870s, it was damaged beyond repair by a pair of oil tanker barges in 1960. The barges hit Pier 17 bringing down two bowstring girders. There have been several plans to renew the link, most recently in the late 1990s as a millennium project.

Lydney railway station, which serves the town, is located on the Gloucester to Newport Line, with connections from the town centre by the Dean Forest Railway. Lydney Canal was once an important harbour for shipping timber, coal and iron from the Forest of Dean. It is now a harbour for pleasure craft.

History:

  • British Iron Age – promontory fort established at Lydney Park.
  • Early Roman period – the fort is used for iron ore mining.
  • Late Roman period – a Roman temple to Nodens is built on the site of the fort.
  • 1588 – Vice-Admiral of England Sir William Winter was granted the manor of Lydney in recognition of his services against the Spanish Armada.
  • 1723 – the Winter family sold their Lydney estate to the Bathurst family
  • In 1810, docks were constructed to capitalise on the town’s location, close to the River Severn. The River Lyd flows through the town and into the Severn.
  • 1935 – the title of Viscount Bledisloe of Lydney was created and awarded to Charles Bathurst upon his retirement as Governor-General of New Zealand
  • August 31, 1962 – the Beatles play Lydney Town Hall
  • 1964 – the Lydney Murder, a significant case in the history of the use of entomology to assist criminal investigations. On 28 June 1964 a body was found in woods near Bracknell. By studying the maggots found on the body, forensic entomologist Professor Keith Simpson was able to establish a date of death as around 16 June 1964. Missing persons records for that date lead the police to believe that the body was that of Peter Thomas who had gone missing from his home in Lydney. Fingerprints confirmed the identification. William Brittle, a business partner of Peter Thomas was convicted of the murder. The Lydney Murder was the subject of an episode of the Discovery Channel documentary; “Crime Museum UK with Martin Kemp”

Attractions include:

  • Norchard railway station is the home of the Dean Forest Railway
  • Lydney Park is the site of a Romano-British Roman Temple and previously was an Iron Age hillfort. It also has gardens which are open to the public for a limited period each spring.

 

 

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