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English Bicknor, Gloucestershire

Several generations of Burgums of the "GG" family tree, lived in or near English Bicknor in the Forest of Dean.

ENGLISH BICKNOR is an ancient village situated in the western part of the Forest of Dean. It sits high on the top of a hill overlooking the Wye Valley and the surrounding countryside. It was recorded as a hamlet in 1066 and is mentioned in the Domesday Book. A motte and bailey castle once stood here and there is evidence of Saxon settlement prior to that. It is 3 miles north of Coleford and 8 miles south of Ross-on-Wye.

The present church is Norman buit about 1100 AD, but the oval churchyard suggests a previous Saxon church once stood here. The exterior walls were restored in Victorian times and only the 13th century west tower (replacing an earlier central tower) gives an external clue to its Norman origins. The inside however, with its Romanesque pillars are clearly Norman.

English Bicknor had a population of 592 in the census of 1861 and 601 in the 1871 census. The History og Gloucestershire by Atkyns describes it thus- "it consits of rich meadow and pasture..." Morris & Co's Directory (see below) states "The Ross and Monmouth Railway passes through this parish, skirting its north and west sides, and has two stations here, one at Symonds Yat, the other at Stowfield, where it has a Junction with the Severn and Wye Railway, to Lydbrook and Lydney, and is called the Lydbrook Junction Station."

Several Burgums are buried in the churchyard of St Mary's Church, at English Bicknor. Many of them lived in nearby Lydbrook, which was partly in this parish, but also in the parishes of Newland and Ruardean. According to the 1841 Cenus Richard Bergam (age 2) was born in English Bicknor, but was living now with his mother Mary (age 25) at Berry Hill (CS1841-09).

By 1851 Richard was working as a servant in the house of William Cooper. William was a charcoal carrier. (CS1851-43). Meanwhile another Mary Burgham (age 24), a widow, was living at Joyford Hill in the parish of English Bicknor with 3 children. Thomas (age 4) and Isabella (age 1) were born in English Bicknor, whileMary Anne (age 3) was said to be born in Joyford, still within the parish (CS1851-37).

By 1861 Richard Burgham (now 22) is back living with his mother Mary Burgham ( age 51). He is a coal miner and they are living at Speadwell, in Christchurch, close to English Bicknor. Meanwhile another Mary Burgham, who has now married Edwin Riley, is living at Milkwall. Her son Thomas (age 14) was born in English Bicknor, while another daugheter Mary Burgham (age 13) was born at nearby Joyford.

The 1871 Census has Tom Burgum (age 4), grandson of John and Charlotte Burgum of Tram Road, Lydbrook, being born in English Bicknor (CS1871-18), while Thomas Burgham, (age 24, born English Bicknor) can be found living in the house of Edwin and Mary Riley, of Milkwall.

In 1881 Tom and Edith J. Burgum were living at Lower Lydbrook, but 4 of their 7 children were born in English Bicknor. These were Tom Henry (age 14), Anna (age 5) and Emma Jane (age 6 months) (CS1881--05)

Tom Henry Burgham appeared in the 1891 Census (CS1891-67), born in English Bickor. He was now living at The Road, at Redbrook, Gloucestershire and working as a Tin Plate Worker, age 24. (CS1891-67). Thomas and Edith Burgham, who were living at Lydbrook, had four daughters. three of whom - Annie (age 16), Elizabeth (age 13) and Emma (age 10) - were born at English Bicknor (CS1891.60)

Ten years on and Tom Burgham is living at Wye Villa, Lower Redbrook. Ann (age 24) and Emma (age 21) are still at home, both born in English Bicknor (CS1901-88). Another Tom Burgham, also living in Lower Redbrook (age 34) was also born in English Bicknor (CS1901-95). He can be found again in the 1911 census at Oak Cottage, Upper Redbrook (CS1911-89).

Morris & Co’s Commercial Directory of 1876 listed the following -
Clergy Gentry and Private Residents
BURDON Rev. John, M.A., rector, The Rectory
DAVIES Rev. James, M.A., Bicknor House
HOUGH Mr. Charles Cooper, Braceland
MACHEN Rev. Edward, B.A., Eastbach Court
PARSONS The Misses, Stirte House
PROSSER Mr. Thomas, Bicknor Cottage
TERRETT Mr. George

Trades and Professions
ADDIS James, butcher
BENNETT Richard, National schoolmaster, School House
BLANCH Mrs. Esther, farmer, Court Farm
COPNER William, miller, Joyford Mill
CROOK Mrs. Harriet, farmer, White House
DUTHERIDGE Thomas, farmer, Dryslade
EDWARDS John, farmer, Blackthorn Farm
FARMERS FOLLY COLLIERY CO., colliery proprietors - Hugh Railton, manager
FLETCHER John, farmer, Joyford
GUNTER Thomas, farmer, Stirts Farm
IVINS Thomas, farmer, Carter's Piece
JAMES Richard, carpenter and wheelwright
JAMES William Wysham, assistant overseer and collector of poor rates
JONES Miss Mary, beer retailer and shopkeeper
JONES Thomas, farmer, Hillersland
KEENE Roger, farmer, Cowmeadow Farm
LANE John Walter, farmer, Eachbach Farm
LERIGO Henry, carpenter
LERIGO William, carpenter and sub-postmaster
PRESSICK Richard D., stationmaster, Lydbrook Station
PROBERT William, blacksmith

Post Office - William Lerigo, sub-postmaster. Lydbrook and Coleford are the nearest money order and telegraph offices.
Ross and Monmouth Railway Station (Junction with the Severn and Wye Railway), Lydbrook - Richard D. Pressick
National School - Richard Bennett, master

SYMONDS YAT Trades and Professions DAVIS Thomas, refreshment rooms GOODE William, "Saracen's Head" inn HUNT John, stationmaster JONES Thomas, plasterer, and tiler Monmouth and Ross Railway Station - John Hunt, stationmaster .

Click here for the GG family tree

English Bicknor BMD's for more on English Bicknor parish registers.