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Coordinates: 51°43′43″N 2°31′43″W / 51.7286°N 2.5285°W / 51.7286; -2.5285
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Newerne Street, Lydney
Lydney is located in Gloucestershire
Location within Gloucestershire
Population10,043 (2021 Census)[1]
OS grid referenceSO634032
Civil parish
  • Lydney
Shire county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townLYDNEY
Postcode districtGL15
Dialling code01594
AmbulanceSouth Western
UK Parliament
List of places
51°43′43″N 2°31′43″W / 51.7286°N 2.5285°W / 51.7286; -2.5285

Lydney is a town and civil parish in Gloucestershire, England. 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. The town has been bypassed by the A48 road since 1995. The population was about 8,960 in the 2001 census,[2] reducing to 8,766 at the 2011 census.[3] Increasing to 10,043 at the 2021 Census.[4]

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.


According to Cook (1906) the toponym "Lydney" derives from the Old English *Lydan-eġ, "Lludd's Island", which could connect it with the name Nudd/Nodens.[5] However, more probable etymologies of Lydney are offered in other sources. A. D. Mills suggests "island or river-meadow of the sailor, or of a man named *Lida", citing the forms "Lideneg" from c. 853 and "Ledenei" from the 1086 Domesday Book.[6] The English Place Name Society's Survey is in agreement with this. [7]


St Mary's Church, Lydney
Lydney Town Hall

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.[8] White Cross Manor, the house he built soon after he bought the manor, was burned down in 1645.[9] In 1723 the Winter family sold their Lydney estate to the Bathurst family[8]

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.[10][11]

The Lydney Murder, 1964[edit]

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.[12][13][14] 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 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".


Railway lines in Lydney
For canal icons used below, please refer to waterways legend.

Princess Royal Colliery
Tufts Junction
adjacent to Lydney Junction
Tufts Bridge
Norchard High Level
Norchard Low Level
Engine Shed
adjacent to Lydney Junction
Lydney Town
St Mary's Halt
Lydney Junction
Severn Bridge Tunnel
Severn Bridge
Pidcock's Canal
Severn Railway Bridge
(Dismantled 1970)
Lydney Canal
Lower Docks
Upper Docks
Swing bridge over
Gloucester & Sharpness Canal
Locks onto River Severn
River Severn

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.[15]

Lydney railway station, managed 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.

A map of Lydney from 1946

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[edit]

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[16] in a national award scheme for local councils.

Secondary education[edit]

The town is served by The Dean Academy, previously Whitecross School (1973-2012), and before that the Lydney Grammar School (1903–1973).


Local TV coverage is provided by BBC West and ITV West Country. Television signals are received from the Mendip TV transmitter.[17] Local radio stations are BBC Radio Gloucestershire, Heart West, Greatest Hits Radio South West and Dean Radio, a community based radio station.[18] The local newspaper is The Forester.[19]

Sport, recreation and arts[edit]

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.

Lydney Cricket Club is an English amateur cricket club that was founded in 1862 and has been based on The Bob Park Cricket Ground on Swan Road since 1949.[20] Lydney CC have three Saturday senior XI teams.[21] The 1st and 2nd XI compete in the Gloucestershire County Cricket League,[22] the 3rd XI are in the Cheltenham, Gloucester and Forest of Dean League.[23] They also have a Midweek senior XI team in the Forest of Dean Midweek League,[24] a Sunday XI team that play the occasional friendly matches in and around the local district, and an established junior training section that play competitive cricket in the Leadon Vale Youth Cricket League.[25] Former Glamorgan captain and England opening batsman Steve James began his career at the club. Lydney was also the club of first English club of England wicket-keeper Geraint Jones.

Lydney Town F.C. is based at the town's recreation ground, they run a total of four sides playing Hellenic Football League, Gloucestershire Northern Senior League and two sides in the North Gloucestershire Football League. 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. There is a hockey club hockey club and a netball club which play their home games at Whitecross School. Lydney Golf Club was a nine-hole course located off Lakeside Avenue but has built a new course on a site located on the opposite side of the Lydney Bypass.[26] There is 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 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[27] and 2003. Lydney has a town brass band that was founded in 1892. The organisation operates three ensembles, the Town Band, the Training Band, and a Starter Group.[28] The Town Band is a competitive band nationally graded in the Third Section, competing in various competitions throughout the year and regularly delivering concerts in the local community.[29][30] In 2016 the Town Band qualified to represent the West of England at the National Brass Band Championship of Great Britain (Fourth Section)[31] and in 2022 celebrated its 130th anniversary. The Training Band and Starter Group offer tuition for people at various stages of learning to play brass instruments, and regularly perform at events and concerts in the local community. 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.[32]


Twinned towns[edit]


Notable people[edit]

See Category:People from Lydney

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Lydney". City population. Retrieved 25 October 2022.
  2. ^ "Neighbourhood Statistics for Lydney". Archived from the original on 11 October 2016. Retrieved 7 July 2013.
  3. ^ "Town population 2011. Retrieved 27 March 2015". Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
  4. ^ "Lydney (Parish, United Kingdom) - Population Statistics, Charts, Map and Location".
  5. ^ Cook, Arthur Bernard (25 March 1906). "IV. The Celts". Folklore. The European sky-god. 17 (1): 27–71. doi:10.1080/0015587X.1906.9719720.
  6. ^ Mills, A. D. (1993). A Dictionary of English Place-Names. Oxford. p. 218. ISBN 0192831313.
  7. ^ "Lydney :: Survey of English Place-Names".
  8. ^ a b "Tudors and Stuarts". Archived from the original on 18 October 2006. Retrieved 2 November 2006.
  9. ^ "Lydney Pages 46-84 A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 5, Bledisloe Hundred, St. Briavels Hundred, the Forest of Dean". British History Online. Victoria County History. Retrieved 18 April 2021.
  10. ^ http://www.macca-central.com Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "Lydney Town Hall". Archived from the original on 18 May 2008. Retrieved 13 April 2008.
  12. ^ discoverychannel.co.uk
  13. ^ quincy.ca Archived 17 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "derekbentley.com". Archived from the original on 23 June 2008. Retrieved 21 December 2008.
  15. ^ Cork, Tristan (1 February 2018). "Plans for a third Severn bridge unveiled". Bristol Live. Archived from the original on 30 November 2019. Retrieved 18 August 2020.
  16. ^ "Town council joins 'gold' club". Forest of Dean and Wye Valley Review. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  17. ^ "Full Freeview on the Mendip (Somerset, England) transmitter". UK Free TV. 1 May 2004. Retrieved 7 November 2023.
  18. ^ "Dean Radio". Retrieved 7 November 2023.
  19. ^ "The Forester". British Papers. 19 June 2014. Retrieved 7 November 2023.
  20. ^ "Lydney CC". lydneycricketclub.com. Lydney Cricket Club. Retrieved 27 July 2022.
  21. ^ "Lydney Cricket Club Teams". lydney.play-cricket.com. Lydney Cricket Club. Retrieved 27 July 2022.
  22. ^ "Gloucestershire County Cricket League". gloucestershireccl.play-cricket.com. Gloucestershire County Cricket League. Retrieved 27 July 2022.
  23. ^ "Cheltenham, Gloucester and Forest of Dean League". cgfleague.play-cricket.com. Cheltenham, Gloucester and Forest of Dean League. Retrieved 27 July 2022.
  24. ^ "Forest of Dean Midweek League". forestofdeanmidweeklge.play-cricket.com. Forest of Dean Midweek League. Retrieved 27 July 2022.
  25. ^ "Leadon Vale Youth Cricket League". leodonvaleycl.play-cricket.com. Leadon Vale Youth Cricket League. Retrieved 27 July 2022.
  26. ^ "Lydney golfers move into new home". The Forester. 2 June 2011. Retrieved 18 August 2020.
  27. ^ http://archive.thisisbradford.co.uk
  28. ^ "Lydney Band".
  29. ^ "Lydney Band News".
  30. ^ "Lydney Band - Brass band Results".
  31. ^ "National Championship of Great Britain (Fourth Section Final)".
  32. ^ "Lydney". Park run. Archived from the original on 29 September 2019. Retrieved 18 August 2020.
  33. ^ deanforestrailway.co.uk Archived 6 May 2003 at the Wayback Machine
  34. ^ "TS Royal Forest – The Forest of Dean Sea Cadets". Sea Cadets. Retrieved 18 August 2020.
  35. ^ "F.W. Harvey, 'The Laureate of Gloucestershire' during WW1 remembered". Archived from the original on 9 July 2014. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  36. ^ "The Herbert Howells Trust". www.howellstrust.org.uk. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  37. ^ "Steve James: never mind the Ashes, Wales v England in the Six Nations is bigger – just don't ask me to pick a side". Retrieved 7 September 2015.

External links[edit]