Clearwell Gloucestershire Family History Guide

St Peter's Church, Clearwell Viewed from the driveway to Clearwell Castle.
St Peter’s Church, Clearwell Viewed from the driveway to Clearwell Castle. The church, designed by John Middleton of Cheltenham for Caroline, Countess of Dunraven, owner of the nearby Clearwell Castle (or Clearwell Court as it was known at that time), dates from 1866 and is of ‘French Gothic’ style utilising local red sandstone with Bath stone dressings. The tower and spire stand at the southwest corner. The church replaced an earlier medieval church on a different site. The copyright on this image is owned by Pauline Eccles and is licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 license.

Clearwell in the county of Gloucestershire was formed as a separate Ecclesiastical parish from Newland in 1856.

Parish church: St Peter

Parish registers begin: 1830

Nonconformists include:

Parishes near to Clearwell

  • Bearse Common
  • St Briavels
  • Dean Forest St Paul
  • Bream
  • Newland

Historical Descriptions

Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

CLEARWELL, a tything in Newland parish, and a chapelry in Newland and West Dean parishes, Gloucester. The tything lies in Dean forest, near the river Wye, 5½ miles SSE of Monmouth, and 6 NW of Lydney r. station; and has a post office under Coleford. Real property, £3,675; of which £260 are in quarries, and £50 in mines. Pop., 816. Houses, 156. The property is not much divided. Clearwell Park is the seat of the Dowager Countess of Dunraven. A great heap of Roman money, comprising about 3,000 copper coins, was found here in 1847. The chapelry was constituted in 1856. Pop., 1,244. Houses, 245. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Cloucester and Bristol. Value, £200. Patron, the Dowager Countess of Dunraven. The church was rebuilt in 1866. There are handsome schools.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

Leonard’s Gazetteer of England and Wales 1850

Clearwell, 1½ mile S.E. Newland. P. 674

Source: Leonard’s Gazetteer of England and Wales; Second Edition; C. W. Leonard, London; 1850.

Lewis Topographical Dictionary of England 1845

Clearwell, a chapelry, in the parish of Newland, union of Monmouth, hundred of St. Briavell’s, W. division of the county of Gloucester, 7 miles (W. by N.) from Blakeney; containing 674 inhabitants. A considerable number of persons belonging to Clearwell are employed in the coal and iron-mines in the parish, and in the adjacent forest of Dean. A church has been built and endowed, containing 460 sittings, 380 of which are free, the Incorporated Society having, in 1829, granted £400 towards defraying the expense. There is a curious stone cross.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis Fifth Edition Published London; by S. Lewis and Co., 13, Finsbury Place, South. M. DCCC. XLV.


Clearwell Kellys Gloucestershire Directory 1856


  • County: Gloucestershire
  • Civil Registration District: Monmouth
  • Probate Court: Pre-1541 – Court of the Bishop of Hereford, Post-1541 – Court of the Bishop of Gloucester (Episcopal Consistory)
  • Diocese: Pre 1836 – Gloucester, Post 1835 – Gloucester and Bristol
  • Rural Deanery: Forest
  • Poor Law Union: Monmouth
  • Hundred: St Briavels
  • Province: Canterbury