The Forest of Dean.

Bygone Days

Bygone Days


Social Life.

At Cinderford in 1841 there were two inns and several beerhouses. The White Hart Inn on the Littledean - Coleford road, just above Cinderford Bridge, was recorded from 1834. The other inn, near the Cinderford Ironworks was built after 1834 and was known as the Victoria in 1851 but had closed by 1901. Of the beerhouses one near the ironworks was known as the Forge Hammer and one on Bilson Green, the Barley Corn, doubtless giving note to the name Barleycorn Square.

On Littledean Hill there were two inns, the Royal Forester and the Royal Oak in 1838.

In the later part of the 19th century the principal inns were in the High Street. The Royal Union at the top of the street was built in 1854, and was later followed by the Swan, the Fleece and the Lion opened nearby. Lower down the High Street were the Colliers Arms, the Globe and the Seven Stars. The Union closed in 1955 and was demolished along with the Fleece around 1960.

Colliery owners Edward Protheroe built St Johns Church and Aaron Goold, built St Annals House, very much influenced the early development of Cinderford and the ironmaster Edwin Crawshay also took a keen interest in the town while he lived at Abbotswood, in Ruspidge.

From 1869 the main public meeting place was the Town Hall in the High Street with a market hall situated beneath. It was acquired by the Cinderford Co-operative Society in 1894 but sadly that was also demolished around 1960.

In 1907 an interdenominational institute was opened at St Annals House with books and other reading material provided by local businessmen.

From 1929 the buildings were used as offices by the East Dean Rural District Council until local government reorganisation. In 1992 Cinderford Town Council bought the property from the Forest of Dean District Council and is now run by the Town council as the Belle Vue Centre, a community business base and Town Council offices.

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