Gallery 54 - Ross on..
Contemporary abstract art, ceramics and glassware
Cleeve Orchard Cider..
Artisan maker of Little Owl cider from the last orchard in Ross on Wye
Cinderford
Cinderford is a small town with a population of approximately 7500, situated on the eastern edge of the actual Forest. The original settlement in the area was a small collection of houses, built just before 1800, along the edge of the forest boundary. These buildings, known as "encroachment" cottages, were built just inside the forest, at a time when it was illegal to build houses on the land of the Royal Forest. About 1800, when the area began to flourish as a coal mining area, and the town developed in size.

In the 1700's Cinderford was no more than a tiny hamlet comprising a few houses around the area adjacent to what is now the Bridge Inn on the Speech House Road. The name Cinderford being derived from the ford over the little river. Two hundred yards up the hill was the hamlet of St. Whites, and next to it, another hamlet at Stockwell Green. Some of the older houses still remain in these areas. By the early 1800's the village began to develop, and the parish church of St. John was consecrated in 1844, situated close to St. White's Road. The town grew considerably in the following years as more coal mines were opened, and there was an influx of people to work in the mines. The centre of the town gradually shifted to its present position around The Triangle, away from the original village around St. John's church, and the town was linked to the outside world by new railway links via both the Severn & Wye Railway Company and the Great Western Railway.

As the coal mines finally closed in the 1960's the area suffered a depression, and its railway links were severed, but the town is now growing rapidly again, and many new businesses are moving in, (including multi-national companies) especially to the developing Forest Vale Industrial Estate.

Cinderford is virtually surrounded by the woodlands of the Forest, which can be reached within a few minutes walking distance of anywhere in the town. The valley area to the west of the town (Linear Park) has been re-landscaped with lakes and a footpath walk.

The town centre is compact, based around The Triangle, with good parking facilities, and all the local shops and service businesses within a close area.

Cinderford has thriving football and rugby teams, each with its own stadium.

Tourist Information

Cinderford is an ideal place to stay when visiting the Forest of Dean, with several small hotels and guest houses.  A car or bicycle is really needed to enjoy the benefits of the local forest tourist attractions, as they are spread over a wide area.

Local places of interest include:

  • The Linear Park - a natural park close to the town centre, ideal for a short quiet walk
  • The Dean Heritage Centre - a museum of the Forest of Dean, its scenery, geology and history.
  • The Sculpture Trail - a stunningly beautiful walk in the Forest, with large sculptures to view on the way.
  • Beechenhurst Lodge - a barbeque and picnic area (and the start of the Sculpture Trail)
  • Littledean Hall - and Roman Temple. The hall is reputed to be the most haunted house in the county!
  • Mallards Pike - a beautiful lake and woodland area for walks
  • New Fancy Viewpoint - with excellent panoramic views of the Forest of Dean - a good picnic area
  • Pedal-a-bike-away - bike hire in the Cannop Valley
  • Cannop Ponds - excellent woodland and lakeside walks
  • Soudley Ponds - very pleasant woodland walks, one leading to:
  • Blaize Bailey - with magnificent 50 mile panoramic views over the Severn Valley and the Cotswolds
Shops
Cinderford has a wide range of shops, mainly small businesses, but also including:

Westgate Stores  (clothing, furniture, electrical etc.)
County Stores (food supermarket)
Lidl (food supermarket)

The shops are situated in or around The Triangle, which is the town's centre.
Churches

St. John

Revd. John Holder
St. John's Vicarage,
1 Abbott's View, Buckshaft, Cinderford, Glos. GL14 3EG
Tel : 01594-825446

Services:
Sunday Services: 10 am - Parish Eucharist
1st Sunday Family Eucharist
3rd Sunday Healing Eucharist
there are no longer any regular afternoon services

For funerals, weddings and baptisms please contact Revd. John Holder.

Parish website: www.churchstjohn.org
Email: churchstjohn@email.com

St Stephens

The rapid growth of Cinderford in the late 19th century led to the building of a second church, this time near the centre of the town. The church was designed by Lingen Barker in an early 14th century style and was consecrated in 1890. It features an aisled nave and chancel with north vestry and organ chamber.

Other Churches
St. Anthony's (Catholic) (Belle Vue Road/Flaxley Street)
Wesleyan Church (Belle Vue Road)
Baptist Church (Church Road)
Methodist (Church Road)

Schools
St. Whites Primary School (primary school)
Latimer School (primary school)
Steam Mills School (primary school)
Bilson Infants School
Oakdean Special School - for children with severe learning difficulties
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