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
Dennis Potter

Critically acclaimed playwright Dennis Potter was born in May 1935, at Joyford Hill, Berry Hill, Coleford. The eldest son of a Forest coal miner, Dennis grew up in a close knit community with strong social values, surrounded by the stark but beautiful landscape of the Forest of Dean which he once referred to as 'this heart shaped land'. The forest actually appears to be 'heart shaped' with the rivers Severn and Wye forming a triangular plateau, covered by the leafy tree tops of oak, beech and conifer.

After finishing high school, Dennis Potter went on to a read philosophy, economics and politics (PPE) at New College, Oxford. Whilst at Oxford, Dennis became a regular voice in college debates. His articles in the university magazine 'Isis' and work as editor for the magazine gained him national recognition. After Oxford, Dennis started work as a trainee with the BBC, studying the fine art of production and technique before going on to write screenplays for some of TV's most memorable and classic programmes, like Pennies from Heaven, The Singing Detective and Lipstick on Your Collar.

Dennis Potter drew upon his childhood in the Forest of Dean for much of his work. Two of his early plays, The Beast with Two Backs and Blue Remembered Hills were actually filmed on location in the Forest.

His books, The Glittering Coffin and The Changing Forest: Life in the Forest of Dean Today give detailed accounts of Forest life. Dennis wrote passionately about the unique forest dialect, forest traditions and the pride forest people feel for their birthplace. Dennis Potter died in 1994.

Today you can explore the enchanting Forest landscapes of Dennis Potter's childhood with self guided walks around the area. All are available with accompanying maps.

For more, visit Clenched Fists - the Official Potter website at

For more information on forest walks please contact Coleford Tourist Information Centre on 01594 812388.

More Local History
Books on the Forest ..
An inciteful overview and review of books about the Forest of Dean, listing many of the must reads about the area. Both locals and visitors will find something to delight in.
Catherine Drew - The..
Catherine Drew - renowned as the Forest Poetess, wrote many poems about the Forest, some of which were published in a, still hard to find, limited edition book.
Charcoal Burning
The ancient industry of charcoal burning, produced industrially in the area from the 1800's, crucial to the Forest of Dean, and of national importance in iron production for many hundreds of years.
An introduction to the Churches in the Forest by the local history society.
Dennis Potter
A brief introduction to Potter's life in the Forest of Dean. The critically acclaimed playwright was born in May 1935, at Joyford Hill, Berry Hill, Coleford, - the eldest son of a Forest coal miner.
Foresters Rights
Details of the ancient rights of the Foresters, from keeping sheep and pigs in the Forest through to Forest Freemining.
Freeeminers of the F..
Introduction to the Freeminers, story and photos by Mark Campbell. For 700 years the Free Miners of the Royal Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, have mined coal but now their future is in doubt.
Ivor Gurney
Famous Forester - 1890 to 1937, renowned poet of the first world war, lived in a house near Minsterworth. Along with Rupert Brooke, Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon and Isaac Rosenburg, he portrayed t..
J K Rowling
JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter Series of Books, part of our famous people from the Forest of Dean series.
Local History Societ..
Founded in 1948, with over 300 members world wide. The primary aim of the Society is to encourage local historical and archaeological research in the Forest of Dean and its environs.
Marefold and the Fur..
The Dark Hill foundry site is where the age of IRON ended and the STEEL age began. MAREFOLD AND THE FURNACE - Forging the Links - by Keith Webb
The Romans
Roman presence in the Forest of Dean With much of the Roman remains in the Forest of Dean probably still undiscovered, there are several identifiable sites of interest.
Tudors and Stuarts
The Tudor and Stewart period in Forest history was a time when iron was being produced locally in large amounts, possibly one sixth of the production of the Kingdom was coming from the Forest of Dean.
Wartime Memories
The Lydney Evacuees 1939 by Stan Tarrant. There is little doubt that the evacuation of children prior to the war in 1939 was a heart-rending experience both for parents and the children.
Winifred Foley
Winifred - a life-long resident of the Forest who wrote an important autobiographical account of her life, part of our famous people from the Forest of Dean series.