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Lydney is a town and civil parish in the English county of Gloucestershire. It is on the west bank of the River Severn, in the Forest of Dean District, and is 16 miles (25 km) southwest of Gloucester as the crow flies. The town has been bypassed since 1995 by the A48 road. The population was about 8,960 in the 2001 census, reducing to 8,766 at the 2011 census. Lydney has a harbour on the Severn, created when the Lydney Canal was built. Adjoining the town, Lydney Park gardens have a Roman temple dedicated to Nodens.

History

In the Iron Age a promontory fort was established at Lydney Park and later used for iron ore mining. In the late Roman period, a Roman temple to Nodens was built on the site of the fort. In 1588 the Vice-Admiral of England Sir William Winter was granted the manor of Lydney in recognition of his services against the Spanish Armada. In 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. In 1935, Charles Bathurst was created Viscount Bledisloe of Lydney upon his retirement as Governor-General of New Zealand. In 1940, the Pine End Works was built on Harbour Road, a Government run shadow factory producing plywood for the aircraft industry. On 31 August 1962, the Beatles played at Lydney Town Hall

The Lydney Murder, 1964

In 1964 the town was the site of 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 of around 16 June 1964. Missing persons records for that date led 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".

Transport

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. Lydney railway station, run by Transport for Wales 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. The original name of Mumford Body & Engineering Company Limited was changed to Lydney Coachworks Limited in 1947 to continue bus bodybuilding work. Orders came mainly from local companies such as Red & White, United Welsh and Newbury & District plus a surprise order from Leigh Corporation in Lancashire. After only a short time the coachworks closed down in March 1952, the uncompleted orders being transferred to Bristol TCC and Eastern Coach Works.

Government and politics

Lydney is covered by a three-tier system of local government. The upper authority is Gloucestershire County Council which is based in Shire Hall, Gloucester. The second tier being Forest of Dean District Council, based in Coleford which is a non-metropolitan district council. The lowest tier of local government is Lydney Town Council which covers an area of approximately 8 square miles. The council was awarded "Quality Gold" standard in September 2015 in a national award scheme for local councils.

Secondary education

* Lydney Grammar School (1903–1973) * Whitecross School (1973–2012) * The Dean Academy (2012 to present)

Sport, recreation and arts

The town's rugby football club plays rugby union and is based at Regentsholme. The club had successful runs in the John Player Cup during the 1980s, including a match against Sale F.C. which was televised on the BBC's Rugby Special. There is also a leisure centre which contains an indoor swimming pool, a gym and more. Cricket is also popular within Lydney, with the local side running three teams in various leagues, as well as having a popular social scene located within the club. Former Glamorgan captain and England opening batsman Steve James began his career at the club. Lydney was also the first English club of England wicket-keeper Geraint Jones. Lydney has an outdoor swimming pool, the Bathurst Swimming Pool built in the 1920s, open from May until early September. It is operated by volunteers (excluding the life guards). Lydney Town F.C. is based at the town's recreation ground, they run a total of 4 sides playing Hellenic Football League, Gloucestershire Northern Senior League and 2 sides in the North Gloucestershire Football League. Lydney Hockey Club (Field Hockey) and Lyndean Netball Club play their home games at Whitecross School. Freedom Leisure Lydney is located at the Dean Academy, the local secondary school. Lydney Golf Club was a nine-hole course located off Lakeside Avenue. The club has built a new course on a site located on the opposite side of the Lydney Bypass. Lydney Twonkers Scrabble Club play their home games at the town's library. The Twonkers were Western Area Scrabble League champions in 2001 and 2005 and were twice runners-up in the National Scrabble Club Knockout Tournament in 1999 and 2003. Bathurst Park in the centre of the town (not to be confused with Lydney Park on the town's outskirts) is home to several senior and junior football and cricket teams. Lydney Town Band operates as a non-competitive training band. Lydney parkrun started on 2 January 2016 - the free 5k timed weekly run, starts near to the garage block at Lydney Boating Lake and comprises three laps.

Tourism

* Norchard railway station is the home of the Dean Forest Railway * Lydney Park is the site of a Romano-British Roman Temple and was an Iron Age hillfort. It also has gardens which are open to the public for a limited period each spring. * Taurus Crafts, which also occupies a section of the Lydney Park estate, is a Camphill community and popular visitor destination comprising a variety of craft shops and café.

Twinned towns

* Bréhal, Manche, northwest France

Organisations

* 614 (Lydney) Squadron Air Training Corps * 586 (Lydney) Sea Cadet Corps * Lydney and District Dramatic Society

Notable people

* Charles Bathurst, Lord Bledisloe (1867-1958), Governor-General of New Zealand from 1930 to 1935, who became Viscount Bledisloe of Lydney in 1935 * Christopher Herbert (1944- ), Bishop of St Albans from 1996 to 2009 * Herbert Howells (1892-1983), composer * Steve James, England cricketer and captain of Glamorgan CCC * Lisa Rogers, television presenter * Sir William Winter (died 1589), Vice-Admiral of Queen Elizabeth I * Sir John Winter (died 1676), grandson of William, and prominent royalist during the English Civil War * Andy Lewis, Rio 2016 Paralympic Triathlon Gold Medalist


See also


* Lydney power station

References



External links


Information
from the Royal Forest of Dean website.
Lydney Grammar School
– History site
Whitecross School
– Official site
Dean Forest Railway

Historic pictures of the Lydney and area.

British History page for Lydney



Photos of Lydney and area on Geograph
{{authority control Category:Towns in Gloucestershire Category:Populated places on the River Severn Category:Forest of Dean Category:Towns of the Welsh Marches