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