Alongwith almost every family in the country, Forest families were divided by the issues of the Civil War.
However, in the main and in spite of the strategic materials contained in the Forest, there were no large, formal, pitched battles here.
Nonetheless, there was a "skirmish" in Coleford when an army of some 1,500 Royalist infantry accompanied by about 500 horsemen came upon a defensive position manned by Parliamentarians under the control of Colonel Berrowe. The streets of the town were said to have run with blood and local folklore states that Royalist Major-General Sir Richard Lawley was shot through the eye. The Market Hall was damaged and the Royalist army continued its march towards the Parliamentarian stronghold of Gloucester.
Colonel Edward Massey (Parliamentarian), Governor of the City of Gloucester, and Sir John Wyntour (Royalist), based at times on his fortified house at WhiteCross, had several skirmishes in the Forest - one of which involved Sir John's escape on horseback over the cliff, now known as "Wyntours Leap," over the cliff into the river Wye.