|Period or Date
||Event happening in Forest.
|3000 BC & earlier||First evidence of human occupation in FoD.|
|Bronze Age||Burial barrow discovered at Tidenham Chase.|
|Iron Age||Hill forts. Iron workings eg: Clearwell Caves.|
|Roman Occupation||Evidence of Roman occupation unearthed eg: Lydney Park, Woolaston Villa.|
Used coal for domestic purposes and charcoal for iron smelting.
|760 AD||Anglo-Saxons are invaded & the building of Offa’s Dyke. The Foresters become Englishmen.|
|1066||Norman invasion. Iron mining and smelting intensified.|
|1086||Domesday book describes FoD as a ‘Royal Forest’ with laws to protect its venison and vert.|
|1130-1808||FoD administered by the King’s appointment as Constable of St Briavel’s Castle.|
|1282||The first record of coal working in the FoD appeared in the Gloucestershire records. The FoD was known as the ‘greatest iron working district in Britain’ in the Middle Ages. It had at least 60 Forges requiring about 900 charcoal pits.|
|1294||Free Mining Rights established by Edward I as a reward for the part played by the FoD miners at the siege of Berwick upon Tweed.|
|1550-60||FoD produced 3,000 tons of coal.|
|1588||Hand drawn iron wire was produced at Soudley.|
The Armada Fleet was built from Forest oak.
|C 1605||James I commissioned the Earl of Pembroke to build 4 blast furnaces and 3 forges in the FoD in return for common rights.|
|1610||Book of Dennis - oldest copy of freeminers’ rights.|
|1638||Commission established to investigate Commoners’ rights.|
|1640||Charles I leased 17-1800 acres of the FoD to Sir John Winter.|
|1642||House of Commons voted to end Winter’s concessions.|
|1643||Civil War - Battle of Coleford.|
Winter’s furnace and forge at Parkend destroyed.
FoD produced around 25,000 tons of coal a year.
|1657||Commonwealth enclosed approximately a third of the FoD.|
|1667||Charles II had reinstated Winter but his concessions were again removed.|
|1668||Act for Reforestation: The Crown enclosed 11,000 acres to protect young trees.|
The foresters lost their common rights.
|1676||Speech House built to house the Forest Court.|
|1718||Hopewell Pit, Parkend opened - one of many.|
|1735||Rioters broke into pounds to release confiscated cattle.|
|1777||All the Freeminers’ documents kept in the Miners’ Chest at Speech House were stolen.|
|1780||Navy Office reported that Forest miners lived more by stealing timber than anything else.|
|1787||121 Coal Pits employed 662 freeminers.|
|1795||Coke blast furnaces introduced in Cinderford. Added impetus to the Industrial Revolution.|
|1801||FoD population was 3,325.|
First tramroad constructed - "Mr Teague’s Railway".
|1812||Tramroads linked pits with ironworks and ports on Severn and Wye.|
|1815||David Mushet discovered a way of producing refined iron direct from blast furnaces without the use of a separate refinery.|
|1818||Mushet built ironworks at Darkhill.|
|1828||Roads built including Parkend to Bream (Tolls abolished 1888).|
|1831||Forest of Dean riots.|
|1838||Dean Forest Mines Act - Rights of freeminers defined and survey ordered.|
|1842||Royal Commision found children from 6 years old working in the iron works.|
104 colleries defined.
Mines Act banned women and children under 10 years from working underground.
|1847||David Mushet died.|
His son, Robert, took over perfecting the ‘Bessemer’ process producing fine steel.
|1856||221 small coal pits were operating.|
|1868||First broad gauge railway ran from Lydney to Wimberry Slade.|
Quickly replaced by standard gauge.
|1869-74||Pits becoming worked out.|
There were problems of flooding in deeper pits.
|1874||Colliery owners announced 25% wage cuts.|
Union negotiated 10% wage cut. The miners would not accept and went on strike.
|1879||First Severn Bridge constructed from Blakeney to Sharpness.|
Parkend Coal Company closed, putting 700 men and boys out of work.
|1891||FoD population was 23,752.|
|1894||Last ironworks, at Cinderford, closed.|
|1914-18||Many Foresters fought the Great War.|
|1918||First Labour MP elected to represent the FoD.|
|1919||Forestry Act ordered the plantation of conifers.|
|1924||Newly created Forestry Commission took over the administration of the FoD.|
|1929||4,600 men employed in the FoD pits.|
|1938||1,350,000 tons of coal produced by the FoD.|
|1939-45||Many Foresters fought the Second World War.|
|1946||Half the male population of the FoD was employed by the coal industry.|
|1955||521,000 tons of coal were produced.|
The industry employed 2,600 men.
|1965||Christmas Eve: Northern United, the last large pit, head was closed.|