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.
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
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.
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
Dean Heritage Centre - a museum of the Forest
of Dean, its scenery, geology and history.
Sculpture Trail - a stunningly beautiful walk
in the Forest, with large sculptures to view on the
Lodge - a barbeque and picnic area (and the start
of the Sculpture Trail)
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
- New Fancy Viewpoint - with excellent panoramic views
of the Forest of Dean - a good picnic area
- bike hire in the Cannop Valley
- Cannop Ponds - excellent woodland and lakeside walks
- Soudley Ponds - very pleasant woodland walks, one
Blaize Bailey - with magnificent 50 mile panoramic
views over the Severn Valley and the Cotswolds
tourist information in the area
Speech House Hotel, Speech House Road
The Forest's Prestige Hotel Restaurant, Weddings, Conference
Close to the Sculpture Trail and Beechenhurst.
The White Hart, St. Whites Road, Cinderford
Littledean House Hotel, Littledean
Speech House Hotel
The Bridge Inn - Cinderford Tel: 01594-822529
Akash Tandoori - Lower High Street
Lloyds Bank, High Street, Cinderford
Midland Bank, The Triangle, Cinderford
Cinderford has a wide range of shops, mainly small
businesses, but also including:
Westgate Stores (clothing, furniture, electrical
County Stores (food supermarket)
Lidl (food supermarket)
The shops are situated in or around The Triangle,
which is the town's centre.
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
Dean Hall School
Belle Vue Road, Cinderford Situated close to the town
centre, the library also houses a collection of local
studies material for the Forest of Dean, old censuses
and newspapers on microfilm.
Tel +44 (0) 1594-823184
Photograph right: from an old tinted postcard of
Revd. John Holder
St. John's Vicarage,
1 Abbott's View, Buckshaft, Cinderford, Glos. GL14 3EG
Tel : 01594-825446
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: [email protected]
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.
St. Anthony's (Catholic) (Belle Vue Road/Flaxley Street)
Wesleyan Church (Belle Vue Road)
Baptist Church (Church Road)
Methodist (Church Road)
Church Records for family historians, plus more
details of the above churches.
The Cinderford Partnership
The Cinderford Partnership is an unincorporated voluntary
body formed by local people concerned about the future
of their town. In 1995 its members agreed the
- To create an effective working partnership between
public, private and voluntary sector organisations
and individuals in the Cinderford area.
- To act as a catalyst for economic regeneration
and community development in Cinderford and its
immediate catchment area.
A successful bid was made to the Governments
Single Regeneration Budget Challenge Fund, which resulted
in an offer of £1,190,000 of Government money between
1996 and 2001 towards economic and enviromental improvements.
Starting from April 1996, this money will be claimed
against 6 main projects.
For further details of the Cinderford