The Forest of Dean has a lot of hidden archeology. From Roman times, possibly earlier, iron has been mined here and worked with charcoal from the forest.

The place names give clues as to its importance: you find such names as Clifford's Mesne. Mesne being a word which apparently evolved into mine. There is more on Mesne in the glossary. Another form of the word is Meend so you find:

Then there are Delves - places where coal was at the surface and was simply dug out by the bucket load! For instance:

The Gloucestershire Society for Industrial Archaeology has an index to the GSIA journal with links to many interesting articles which are reproduced.

Wikipedia's entry on the Forest makes interesting reading.

Sungreen - a collection of old photographs of the forest includes much of archaeological interest.

Tony Oldham's Page of Books has a list of mines with map references.

Coal mines
The Forest of Dean has, at its centre, a coal measure: coal has been mined here for centuries. A separate page list some of the many coal mines and pits in the Forest of Dean.
Iron mines
The carboniferous limestone stratum surrounding and underlying the coal measures contains many pockets of iron ore which have been mined since prehistoric times. Green Bottom pumping station was built to use the water from one old flooded mine to supply Cinderford.

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Page first published: 6th July 2009
Last modified: Wed, 29 Nov 2017 16:31:11 GMT
Written by and © Richard Torrens.