See the Forest from below.
The Free Mining traditions, unique to the Forest of Dean, dates back many hundreds of years. It allows a miner born in the Hundred of St. Briavels (broadly the area of the Forest) and who has worked for a year and a day in a local mine, to work a claim or "gale" in the Forest. There are now only a handful of Freeminers left.
Hopewell Colliery is a working free-mine and makes a lovely visit which gives you a flavour of the working conditions in one of the better and less hazardous mines. Along the Cinderford-Speech House-Coleford road, quite close to Coleford, you will see the pit-head and a very reasonable car-park. There is a café and a souvenir shop in case you have to wait for the next party to be assembled to accompany you in your visit.
As you leave the car-park you cannot help but notice the gigantic wheel that pulled the cables for the cage and trucks.