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The Golledges Were Here
Back in 2001/02, when the old Endowed School was having a facelift, it was noticed that two signatures had been etched into the diamond shaped panes of glass in the windows. The names were on the outside face and so appeared reversed when viewed from inside. The photos below have been 'flipped' so that the writing can be read:

The appears to be:
F Golledge
July 31 1854

And here we have:
A Golledge

Using the Caerleon Net Searches of the Parish Records, Censuses and 1840 Tithe Survey a great deal of information can be assembled about the Golledge family who were glaziers, decorators and plumbers in Caerleon for around 100 years.

John Golledge moved from Somerset to Caerleon and in 1837 married Mary Morgan. (See the St Cadocs marriage records) In 1840 they were living in a house in Bakehouse Lane (nowadays Museum Street), by searching the Tithe Survey data we find they lived on plot 98 marked on the Tithe Map. The 1841 census tells us that John's occupation was a painter, subsequent censuses add plumber, decorator, paper hanger and glazier.

The baptism records for St Cadocs reveal that John and Mary had four children: Alfred, Isabella, Frederick and Laura Eliza.

The burial records tell us that John's wife, Mary, died in 1853 (age 39) and their first child Alfred died in 1855 (age 16). Their other son, Frederick, followed his father and was a painter and decorator. In 1865 he married Cecelia Ann Morgan. We have traced two of their children: James and Mary.

By continuing to use the Caerleon Net Records we find that John married again in 1856, his second wife was Louisa Bowen, daughter of William Bowen. They had three children: Louisa (died 1859 age 3), Alfred and Louisa (died 1863 age 3). Alfred followed his father and was a plumber, painter and paper hanger. He married Mary Hail in 1866 and they had four children: Louisa Isabel, Arthur, Herbert and Alfred. Arthur and Alfred also were painters and plumbers (see 1934 street directory). Louisa, Herbert and Alfred were married at St Cadocs.

Caerleon's Roll of Honour lists Herbert (RAMC) and Arthur (RFA 2ND/4TH WELSH BRIGADE) among the "Caerleon citizens who entered their Country’s service in the Great European War". Neither are among the fallen remembered by the war memorial.

So, who were the F Golledge and A Golledge who scratched their names in the school windows? F Golledge was probably Frederick. He would have been eleven years old in 1854 and may have been helping his father who in addition to being a painter, paper hanger and plumber was also a glazier. We think A Golledge was most likely Alfred, Frederick's step-brother. He was sixteen in 1875.

Remarkable that three generations of the Golledge family were in the same trade for over 100 years and that so much can be learned about the family from the Caerleon Net website. Sad to say that when we last made enquiries the pieces of glass could not be located.

We have just one more piece of information about John Golledge's descendants... his daughter Isabella was working as a domestic servant (cook) in London in 1881. There may be a connection here with John's second wife who came from London.

We have found two other families of Golledges living in the Caerleon area. Both also came from Somerset where it seems the surname was more common. Thomas Golledge moved from St. Phillipas in Somerset and married Adelaide from Ponthir. He was a painter and glazier, and there might well be a family connection with John Golledge. The St Cadocs baptism records list nine children born to Thomas and Adelaide: Clara, Adelaide, Sarah Ann, Thomas, Lilian, Lavinia, Edward Edwin, Emily and Rowland. At least one of their sons also became a painter - Thomas.

Joseph Golledge moved to Ponthir from Lovington in Somerset. He married Alice Francis from Ponthir. He was a Tinplate Annealer. We know of two of his children: Janet and Kate.

It is possible that the 1854 signature is T. Golledge. This is quite likely as Thomas (senior) was a glazier. Maybe he left his mark when he replaced a broken window and Alfred saw this twenty one years later when he was painting the building and decided to follow suit.

If you have an interesting story to tell about your family's Caerleon roots please contact us. Also we would like to hear from any descendents of the families mentioned in this article and, though it's unlikely, it is just possible that someone has photographs of Frederick and Alfred.


Advert from 'A Popular Guide to Caerleon'
by Atwood Thorne, published 1928


From John Golledge:
I lived in Caerleon for a couple of years in 1964 and 1965 when I worked at Spencer Works, Llanwern. Amazingly I was totally unaware of any Golledges who either lived there or who had lived there over a hundred years earlier.
It was only when I started to research my family history that I learned of the Caerleon Golledges. Although I am not a decendent of this branch, I have traced my ancestors to Somerset and the marriage of Hamish Golledge to Mary Huish in about 1720. So, I think we probably have the same roots somewhere along the line. My ancestors came to London (as soldiers) later in the 18th century before my great grandfather moved to Doncaster (where I was born) with his family to work for Great Northern Railway Co in the mid 19th century.
If anyone has any interest in the above or can add anything, i will be delighted to hear from you. Email

From Mike Povall:
Hi, I was interested to read your Golledge family story. I remember their premises were next door to the museum. The cottage is still there I believe. Attached to it was a storage building for their materials and tools. I think it is now a Tourist Office.
Alf Golledge lodged with my family when I was about six years old, say 1946. I believe he was with us a couple of years. He was not with his wife at that time. I last remember speaking to him when I was a teenager and he was working for Miss Radcliffe at the Priory. The family firm probably folded in the war years because I remember Alf giving me the company ledgers to use as scrap paper - paper was in short supply during the war).


Useful pages for Family History Research
on Caerleon Net:

St Cadocs Baptisms
St Cadocs Marriages
St Cadocs Burials
Castle Street Baptist Chapel Marriages
Independent Chapel Caerleon Village Baptisms
Holy Trinity Church Christchurch Baptisms
The 1840 Tithe Survey
1841 Census
1881 Census
1901 Census
Caerleon War Memorial
Caerleon Roll Of Honour

The Universal, 1791
Pigot's 1844
Slater's 1850
Morris' 1862
Kelly's 1884
Kelly's 1901
Johns' 1914
Johns' 1934


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