A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 5, Bledisloe Hundred, St. Briavels Hundred, the Forest of Dean. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1996.
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On the royal demesne land of the Forest of Dean settlement before the 18th century was in the form of makeshift cabins inhabited by ironworkers, charcoal burners, and others while their operations were in progress or until they were expelled by the Forest authorities. Permanent villages and hamlets did not begin to form until the mid 18th century, and the one small town, Cinderford, was largely a creation of the mid 19th century. In the area treated in this account, however, some of the detached parts of Newland within or adjoining the north-east part of the demesne, including those which formed Lea Bailey tithing, had small farmsteads and a few cottages from an earlier period.
Some people were settled within the bounds of the royal demesne at Hillersland, north of Coleford, in the later 16th century. (fn. 1) There was a more significant movement of people into the Forest woodlands and waste after the establishment of the king's ironworks on the demesne in 1612 and the licensing of the lessees and other local ironmasters to take cordwood for their works. Leases of the king's ironworks to the earl of Pembroke in 1612 (fn. 2) and to Sir Baynham Throckmorton and his partners in 1636 permitted the building of cabins necessary for the workmen, (fn. 3) but during that period many others took advantage of the felling and charcoaling operations to establish themselves illegally in the woodlands, often using stolen timber to make barrel staves, trenchers, and cardboard. In 1616 it was reported that 79 cabins inhabited by 346 people had been set up in the coppices where royal commissioners empowered to supply the ironmasters were felling, (fn. 4) and in 1628 44 cabins were enumerated in Bicknor bailiwick, most of them in Mailscot wood, and 41 in Blakeney bailiwick. (fn. 5) In 1637 John Broughton claimed that the lessees of the ironworks, whom he was trying to discredit so as to obtain a lease for himself, had allowed 160 cabins to become established, whereas no more than 20 were needed for the works. (fn. 6) A peak of illegal settlement was apparently reached in the late 1640s when a group of parliamentary army officers carried on ironworks both within and outside the demesne with little control from the government or Forest officials. In 1649 the ironmasters were employing numerous cabiners, whose dwellings were largely built of timber and who further contributed to the destruction of the woods by keeping large herds of goats. (fn. 7) Moseley Green near Parkend, Oldcroft above Lydney, Whitecroft near Bream, Mirystock above Lydbrook, and 'Coleford's Eaves' were among the places inhabited by cabiners at the period. (fn. 8) At the justice seat of 1656 c. 80 dwellings on the royal demesne, including some on the outlying tracts near St. Briavels and at Walmore near Westbury, were presented; by then the needs of the ironworks had also attracted numbers of settlers to parochial lands situated close to the blast furnaces, including Whitemead park and Yorkley near Parkend. (fn. 9)
The first major expulsion of the illegal settlers was carried out by John Wade, who managed the ironworks and woodland for the Commonwealth government from 1653: (fn. 10) in 1662 royal commissioners stated that he had demolished as many as 400 cabins and cottages. The commissioners claimed that only five remained, (fn. 11) but either their inquiry was less than rigorous or, during the continuing uncertainty about government intentions for the Forest in the early 1660s, more squatters slipped back, and further measures were necessary. In 1671 the marquess of Worcester, warden of the Forest, ordered the demolition of all cabins except those necessary for the officially sanctioned cording and charcoaling operations of the ironmaster Paul Foley, (fn. 12) and in 1678 quarter sessions ordered the magistrates of the Forest division to remove all poor people from the waste and settle them in adjoining parishes. (fn. 13) In 1680 a new government commission found c. 30 cabins, home to c. 100 people, many of whom were said to have lived all their lives within the royal demesne. The commissioners demolished the cabins and the encroachments around them and took steps to find the occupants legal settlement elsewhere. (fn. 14) In the following year a perambulation found only 8 cottages on the royal demesne of the Forest, in Chestnuts wood near Flaxley, at 'Bicknor's Lane End', and at a place called Buttocks End. (fn. 15)
Some of the cabiners removed at various times in the later 17th century settled on waste land in the north part of Littledean (fn. 16) and some in parts of Lea Bailey tithing, (fn. 17) and others may have included the small groups of new cottagers recorded in 1680 on a Lydney common (fn. 18) and on a Woolaston common. (fn. 19) The resettlement of c. 1680 was apparently made with the co-operation and active involvement of the local manorial owners: Sir Baynham Throckmorton of Clearwell, Sir Duncombe Colchester of Westbury, and Charles Winter of Lydney were among the magistrates making the order of 1678, (fn. 20) while the commission of 1680 included Throckmorton and was headed by the marquess of Worcester, owner of Tidenham and Woolaston manors and lessee of the Crown manors of Newland and St. Briavels. (fn. 21)
The late 17th century and the early 18th was a period when apparently the royal demesne was virtually uninhabited, though the statement c. 1710 that the six keepers' lodges, built in the 1670s, were the only dwellings on it (fn. 22) seems unreliable. By the mid 18th century the increasing slackness of the administration had allowed squatters to creep back once more, and the permanent establishment of settlements within the Forest was under way as miners and quarrymen built cottages, took in land for gardens, and raised animals around the perimeter of the extraparochial area. The encroachments, on which there were at least 134 dwellings in 1752, (fn. 23) were small and numerous and by 1788, when their number had grown to 1,771 covering 1,358 a., they contained 578 cottages. (fn. 24) The cottages were scattered randomly among the mines and quarries and were often in remote places. Many were in Worcester walk where much early building took place in the Berry Hill and Lydbrook areas. The cottages of the period, still often termed cabins, remained primitive low dwellings, sometimes erected hastily in the widespread belief, recorded in the mid 19th century, that the Forest authorities had no power to pull down those built overnight. Some were of turf and a few of wood, mud, or rushes, but most had dry stone walls and turf roofing. They were generally windowless with a paved floor and, at one end, a fireplace and a chimney. (fn. 25)
Notes. Blakeney walk included the Lydney road at Yorkley, Worcester walk included
Hillersland, and Littledean walk in 1752 included Jas. Lloyd's ho. at Gunn's Mills, later
accounted part of Abenhall parish: above, Abenhall. The returns on which the survey of 1752
was based gave slightly different figs. for some walks and listed 15 cottages in an unidentified
part of the Forest: Berkeley Cast. Mun., General Ser. T, box 25. The areas given as
encroachments in 1812 and 1834 include a few acres granted by the Crown in the 1830s in fee
simple or in exchange for old encroachments: cf. 2nd Rep. Dean Forest Com. 24.
Sources: Berkeley Cast. Mun., General Ser. T, box 25, partic. of cottages 1752; P.R.O., F 16/31, ff. 2-62 (surv. of Dean Forest by A. and W. Driver 1787); Census, 1811; 2nd Rep. Dean Forest Com. 37-84.
The process of encroachment continued well into the 19th century. From 1808, when it was rigorously opposed by the Crown, hedges or palings were often moved forward surreptitiously, but that ruse resulted in only a small increase in the total area of the encroachments, (fn. 26) which was over 2,000 a. in 1834. (fn. 27) In 1838 the Crown conceded freehold status to the older encroachments on its demesne and gave holders of land inclosed between 1787 and 1834 the choice of purchasing it within 10 years or of leasing it. (fn. 28) Many Foresters opted to purchase in the period 1840-5. After 1834 encroachment, which was mainly in the form of minor incursions over the boundaries of existing plots, continued to be resisted firmly by the Forest administration, acting through a revived verderers' court. (fn. 29) Encroachment and building also occurred in Abbots wood, an estate on the east side of the Forest acquired by William Crawshay from the Crawley-Boeveys in 1836, (fn. 30) and titles to property there were not secured until 1872 when commoning rights on the estate were extinguished. The Crown, which had released its remaining rights in the estate to Henry Crawshay in 1869, (fn. 31) purchased back most of the land in 1899. (fn. 32)
With the expansion of the mining and ironworking industries in the early 19th century many new cottages were built in the Forest. By 1841 there were 1,873 dwellings there, 1,770 being on Crown land and the remainder on the Abbots wood estate in the Cinderford bridge, Ruspidge, and Soudley areas. (fn. 33) During that period two-storeyed cottages, mainly of local sandstone and of rusticated appearance, were built, some of them replacing cabins. A few employers provided terraced cottages and some poorer families made their homes in abandoned drift mines. (fn. 34) After the 1830s the pattern of settlement was severely circumscribed by the halting of the process of encroachment. Most new building took place on closes of land formed before 1834 and made freehold by 1845. The Crown, which released land for endowing churches and building church schools, sold many small strips of land mixed up with the freehold plots after 1855 but the high prices it demanded discouraged many Foresters from enlarging their holdings lawfully and potential new settlers from buying land. As a result only part of the rapid population increase accompanying industrial growth in the mid 19th century was housed within the Forest waste and, to meet the demand for accommodation, land societies developed from the 1850s a few small estates on ancient parochial land adjoining the Forest, notably on the east side at Cinderford and on the west side near Coleford. Within the Forest, where there were 4,232 inhabited dwellings in 1871, (fn. 35) many semi-detached cottages were built next to older dwellings and several disused industrial buildings became dwellings. Little building took place in the central area, where there had been few encroachments before 1834 and where the provision of houses near the larger industrial concerns was inhibited by the reluctance of the Crown to surrender land for terms longer than 31 years and by the lack of roads. (fn. 36)
By the end of the century settlement sprawled haphazardly over the hillsides around the edge of the Forest. Villages and hamlets merged into one another and many lacked clear focal points. The small town of Cinderford was an exception. Much building had taken place with scant regard to sanitation (fn. 37) and the replacement or demolition of the old cabins, which had accelerated after 1838 when many Foresters became freeholders, had not been completed in some of the remoter districts. (fn. 38) Many dwellings were no better than hovels (fn. 39) and from the 1920s, when the shortage of habitable cottages forced families to take up residence in huts and other temporary buildings on Crown land, (fn. 40) local councils provided new houses. The compulsory demolition of ramshackle and insanitary cottages was under way by the later 1930s, (fn. 41) and during the later 20th century many settlements came to be dominated by estates of council houses and bungalows. Piecemeal private building and rebuilding continued and produced many new houses and bungalows in a wide variety of styles.
The rapid increase in the Forest's population had begun by 1788 when c. 2,000 people lived on Crown land. (fn. 42) In 1811 the population of the extraparochial area, presumably including Abbots wood but not extraparochial land on Littledean hill later forming the parish of Hinder's Lane and Dockham, was 4,073. Between 1811 and 1881 the extraparochial area saw a more than fivefold increase in its population and, whereas in the later 18th century the north-west side of the Forest had been more heavily populated than other places, new villages and hamlets sprang up elsewhere and Cinderford, on the east side, became a town. Cinderford and some of the villages, including Lydbrook, lay partly outside the Forest, so their growth is not fully reflected in Table III. Over the Forest as a whole, as represented by the townships of East and West Dean, the rate of population increase slackened after 1881 and a small decline in East Dean in the 1890s was presumably caused by the closure of local ironworks. In the early 20th century the population rose to 26,624 by 1921 but later it declined as the mining industry waned and people emigrated. The creation of new civil parishes and other boundary changes in the mid 20th century obscured population trends in the former extraparochial Forest after the Second World War but it appears that, with the exception of the Lydbrook area, the general decline halted in the 1960s and that the number of residents grew in the 1980s to exceed what it had been in 1921.
Notes. The figures for 1851-1901 are for the townships before boundary changes of the 1880s and
1890s; those for 1911-91 are for the townships and later civil parishes covering most of the former
extraparochial area. The detached parts of Newland parish which made up Lea Bailey tithing had
a population of 86 in 1801, rising to 279 by 1881, an increase mainly accounted for by new building
in part of Cinderford. The figures for East Dean include for 1851 extraparochial land on Dean hill
and for 1851-1901 extraparochial land on Littledean hill which became the parish of Hinder's Lane
and Dockham in 1869: P.R.O., HO 107/1959; below, Local Government.
a The return for Littledean included 123 people living on extraparochial land, presumably on
Littledean and Dean hills, adjoining the parish.
b Including people living on the Abbots wood estate and on the extraparochial land on Littledean
and Dean hills: P.R.O., HO 107/364.
c 14,588 in the township as constituted in 1911.
d 10,037 in the township as constituted in 1911.
Source: Census, 1801-1991
The evolution of settlement in the 18th and 19th centuries gave rise to an intricate network of lanes and paths between encroachments on the edge of the Forest, and in only a few places did those lanes follow the major roads that crossed the royal demesne. In the later 17th century three important roads ran westwards to converge on Coleford. (fn. 43) The road from Mitcheldean, used by traffic between Gloucester and South Wales in the 1670s, climbed Plump hill (fn. 44) but by the mid 18th century it took a different route, entering the Forest at Stenders and running over Harrow hill. (fn. 45) The road from Littledean, which entered the Forest at St. White's and crossed the Cinderford and Cannop brooks by small bridges, was also used by traffic between Gloucester and South Wales in the later 18th century. The road from Purton passage on the Severn ran over Viney hill and through Parkend where it crossed Cannop brook by a bridge near the north end of Whitemead park. The road was used in the later 18th century for taking timber out of the Forest to the river at Purton and Gatcombe. (fn. 46) Also still in use in the later 17th century and kept in repair until 1768 or later was the ancient pitched road called the Dean road, supposedly Roman, which linked Mitcheldean and Littledean with Lydney by way of bridges at Soudley and over Blackpool brook near Blakeney hill. (fn. 47) In the mid 18th century a road between Ross-on-Wye (Herefs.) and Chepstow (Mon.) crossed Blackpool brook east of Moseley Green. (fn. 48) In the later 18th century several roads were improved (fn. 49) and in 1796 turnpike trustees were appointed to look after those forming parts of the routes to Coleford from Mitcheldean, Littledean, and Purton and Gatcombe, the route between Mitcheldean and Littledean, and a road to Lydbrook branching from the Mitcheldean-Coleford route at Mirystock. (fn. 50) The trustees built several new roads, including in the late 1820s those from Parkend to Bream and from Littledean to Nailbridge and in 1841 those leading from the Mitcheldean-Coleford road at Edge End towards Staunton and Monmouth, from Parkend to Blakeney, from Mitcheldean to Nailbridge by way of Plump hill, from Nailbridge to Bishopswood, and from Drybrook to Bailey Lane End. (fn. 51) The road between Yorkley and Bream was constructed after 1859. (fn. 52) Those roads attracted some new building at the edge of the Forest, notably the Littledean-Nailbridge road which influenced the shape of Cinderford town. The most important roads made after the turnpike trust was abolished in 1888 (fn. 53) were those linking Cinderford with Blakeney, completed in 1890, (fn. 54) and Lydbrook with Lydney, built 1902- 5. (fn. 55) The Cinderford-Blakeney road encouraged new building at Ruspidge and Soudley and the Lydbrook-Lydney road, which ran southwards from Mirystock alongside Cannop brook, encouraged building at Cannop, Parkend, and Whitecroft. A number of local roads constructed before the First World War and in the later 1920s (fn. 56) attracted some new building in established settlements.
CINDERFORD AND RUSPIDGE
The town of Cinderford grew up in the 19th century to become the main settlement on the east side of the Forest. It took its name, recorded in 1258, (fn. 57) from the slag of early ironworks in the valley bottom at or near the place where the Littledean-Coleford road crossed the Cinderford (or Soudley) brook; a bridge had been built there by 1674. (fn. 58) Industrial development in that part of the Forest in the early 19th century, particularly the revival of the Cinderford ironworks in the late 1820s, (fn. 59) was accompanied by the building of many cottages and a substantial growth in population, (fn. 60) and in the 1840s the area near the bridge was chosen as the site for a school and a church. Later in the century the settlement grew into a small town with many of its shops, inns, and other meeting places to the north on or near the Littledean-Nailbridge road. The town continued to expand in the 20th century and extensive industrial development took place there after the Second World War.
In 1832 there were c. 51 dwellings east of the brook at Cinderford bridge, in the area then called Lower Cinderford. (fn. 61) Most were south of the road (St. White's Road) on Ruspidge Meend, which belonged to the Abbots wood estate (fn. 62) and where Edward Protheroe built cottages, including several terraces, for miners in his employment. (fn. 63) In 1841 the settlement at the bridge included a chapel and two beerhouses. (fn. 64) On the hillside to the north-east, known as Cinderford Tump, the White Hart inn had opened by 1834 (fn. 65) and, to the west, a school was built by Edward Protheroe in 1840 and the church of St. John the Evangelist was opened in 1844. (fn. 66) At the ironworks, which stood 800 m. north of Cinderford bridge, cottages were built at the bottom of the later Victoria Street to the south-east. In 1832 the area, known as Upper Cinderford, included c. 38 houses, (fn. 67) mostly terraced cottages provided by the ironworks' owners, and a beerhouse called the Forge Hammer. (fn. 68) By the mid 19th century a few houses had been built further north on Bilson (formerly Cartway) green, (fn. 69) which later became the main industrial area of Cinderford. One house, next to Bilson colliery, was occupied by Edward Protheroe's agent Aaron Goold in 1831, when the fences around its enclosure were destroyed by rioters. (fn. 70) Known later as Bilson House, it was demolished after 1973, during redevelopment of the area. (fn. 71)
In the later 19th century Cinderford's development centred on the hillside east of Bilson in the area known at that time as Woodside, (fn. 72) Littledean Woodside, or Bilson Woodside. (fn. 73) Building had begun there before 1782, when eight cottages were standing on encroachments on the edge of the royal demesne in the area of the later Heywood Road. (fn. 74) At the same time cottages were built on extraparochial land to the east in Dockham Road (formerly Hinder's Lane) and higher up on Littledean hill, (fn. 75) and in 1832 there were c. 86 cottages at and above Woodside. (fn. 76) The settlement of Littledean Hill, on a ridge overlooking Littledean to the east, also included cottages on land belonging to Littledean parish and Lea Bailey tithing. (fn. 77) The Royal Forester inn near the Forest keeper's lodge called Latimer Lodge was recorded from 1838 (fn. 78) and, further south, a chapel was built in 1824 (fn. 79) and an inn called the Royal Oak had opened by 1838. (fn. 80) The oldest dwelling on the hill was possibly a farmhouse standing at the east end of Dockham Road in 1797, in the area known later as Dockham and within Flaxley parish. (fn. 81) To the south at St. White's there were one or two cottages on Crown land adjoining the Littledean-Coleford road by the late 1760s (fn. 82) and a public house had opened there, in the area called Mount Pleasant, by 1841. (fn. 83)
In the mid 19th century houses were built at Woodside on land adjoining the Littledean-Nailbridge road. The road, made in the late 1820s, (fn. 84) descended north-westwards from Mousell barn, near St. White's, along Belle Vue Road across Flaxley Meend, and along High Street within the Forest. (fn. 85) By the mid 1830s there was a cluster of cottages at the top of High Street by a tollgate west of the junction of Dockham Road with the new route (fn. 86) and a few cottages had been built on Mousell Lane, an old route over Flaxley Meend. (fn. 87) Several more cottages had been erected near the tollgate by the mid 1850s, (fn. 88) and much new building had taken place in that area by the late 1860s. On the north-east side of High Street the Swan hotel, at the bottom of Dockham Road, was built as a posting house in 1867 on the site of an earlier inn (fn. 89) and the Lion (formerly the Dolphin) inn, lower down, was built several years earlier. (fn. 90) In the late 1860s a town hall was built opposite the Lion on land formerly used for holding fairs. (fn. 91) Opened in 1869, (fn. 92) the hall had a large room on the first floor for concerts, meetings, and lectures and rooms on the ground floor for the sale of market produce and for offices. (fn. 93) In 1885 the lower floor accommodated a furniture shop (fn. 94) and later markets were held next to the Lion. (fn. 95) Lower down High Street empty spaces were filled and by the late 1870s new building had extended settlement northwest to the junction with Valley (formerly Upper Bilson) Road, to which point the tollgate had been moved. In the area south of the top end of High Street much of Market Street, which ran south from the town hall, and the northern ends of Commercial Street and Victoria (formerly Station) Street, into which Market Street divided, were built up between the mid 1850s and the late 1870s. (fn. 96) In 1877 a police station was built west of the town hall by the road to Bilson (later Station Street). (fn. 97) The area around the town hall became Cinderford's main shopping area.
An important factor in the development of the town centre was new building in Flaxley Meend, part of the Flaxley Abbey estate, to the southeast. (fn. 98) Wesley, a large chapel at the bottom of Belle Vue Road, was built in 1849 (fn. 99) by Aaron Goold, who a few years later built St. Annals (formerly Belle Vue House) to the south-east as his residence. (fn. 100) Both buildings were set originally in wooded grounds and gardens. (fn. 101) The house became an institute in the early 20th century (fn. 102) and was used as offices by East Dean and United Parishes rural district council and its successors from 1929 until 1991. (fn. 103) Two cottages north-west of the chapel were converted c. 1880 by the industrialist Jacob Chivers as his residence, which became a manse in 1912 and was demolished in 1990. (fn. 104) The northern end of Woodside Street, running south from the junction of Belle Vue Road and Dockham Road, had been formed by 1859, when building was under way on its west side, and the area to the south, extending to Mousell Lane and bounded on the north-east by Belle Vue Road, was laid out for housing by a land society. (fn. 105) Building in the new streets, based on the triangle formed by Woodside Street, Abbey Street, and Flaxley Street, was piecemeal and continued in the mid 1870s (fn. 106) when the area was known as New Town. (fn. 107) To the north the east side of Woodside Street and the south-west side of Belle Vue Road were filled with houses later in the century. (fn. 108) The number of houses in Flaxley Meend, where the population grew by over 800 in the 1860s, (fn. 109) increased from 14 in 1851 to 234 in 1891. (fn. 110)
Elsewhere in Cinderford building continued in a haphazard fashion after 1840 and was mainly confined to scattered encroachments made before 1834. (fn. 111) At Bilson industrial development included gasworks erected in 1860, (fn. 112) and a large school was built north of the road to the town centre (later Station Street) in 1877. (fn. 113) To the north at Upper Bilson, at the north-west end of the town, where there were eight cottages including a beerhouse in 1841, (fn. 114) most houses were built after 1856. (fn. 115) On the east'side of the town Ladywell Manor (formerly St. Annal's Lodge), north of Dockham Road, was probably built by Aaron Goold. (fn. 116) In the later 19th century Cinderford's population more than trebled. In the area north of St. White's Road including Bilson, Upper Bilson, Flaxley Meend, and Littledean Hill it rose from 1,730 to 5,920 and the number of houses increased from 344 to 1,184 between 1851 and 1891. (fn. 117)
The development of the west side of the town was greatly influenced by the construction in the late 1890s of Valley Road, which followed the line of an abandoned tramroad north from Cinderford bridge and crossed the site of the Cinderford ironworks. (fn. 118) Two ranges, the only buildings of the ironworks to survive, were converted as terraced cottages. (fn. 119) In 1897 and 1898 the Crown improved two routes leading down to the new road, one westwards from High Street to the Bilson gasworks by way of Wesley Road and part of Station Street and the other south-westwards along Victoria Street. (fn. 120) At the bottom of Station Street the terminus of a new stretch of railway was opened on the north side and a hotel was built opposite it in 1900. (fn. 121) Piecemeal development continued on all sides of Cinderford in the early 20th century and on the Double View estate at the top of Belle Vue Road, south of Littledean Hill, it had begun by 1896. (fn. 122) In 1924 East Dean and United Parishes rural district council built 10 houses in Church Road, the continuation southwards of Commercial Street to St. White's Road. Council houses were built later in Victoria Street and on the site of Mousell barn at the top of Belle Vue Road, and the demolition of older dwellings deemed uninhabitable had begun by 1937, when an estate of 46 council houses was completed north of St. White's Road. (fn. 123) After the Second World War two large council estates grew up on the north side of the town. The Hilldene estate, in the Heywood Road area north-east of the town centre, was started in 1948. The first houses on the Denecroft estate, also begun in 1948, were at Upper Bilson and by the 1980s the estate had spread south-westwards to fill much of the area, including former railway land, bounded by Station Street and Valley Road. Council houses and bungalows were also built in the Victoria Street area in the 1960s. (fn. 124) After 1945 many small bungalows were built privately in Cinderford, some in place of older stone cottages, and from the 1960s a number of private housing estates were also built. (fn. 125) By 1992, as a result of infilling, the town's housing estates stretched as far as Littledean Hill on the east and St. White's Road on the south-east. The west side of the town remained its principal industrial area, although a large engineering factory dating from the late 1940s (fn. 126) at the bottom of Station Street was disused in 1992. From the late 1960s there was considerable redevelopment around the north end of Valley Road with the laying out of new industrial estates and roads and the building of new factories. (fn. 127) Further south some houses were built east of Valley Road in the 1980s.
Alterations to the town centre in the 20th century included the removal before the First World War of a building at the centre of the area known later as the Triangle, on the east side of Market Street near the entrance to Station Street. (fn. 128) A memorial to townsmen killed during the war was unveiled there in 1923. (fn. 129) In an extensive redevelopment in the late 1950s and early 1960s to widen the streets and form a larger open space in the centre, the buildings on the south-west side of High Street, down to and including the town hall, and on the east side of the north end of Market Street were demolished. (fn. 130) South-east of the new centre a row of shops was built in High Street in 1965. (fn. 131) The west end of Dockham Road was remodelled later to accommodate a bus station and was further redeveloped c. 1990 when a health centre and a supermarket were built on the north side. (fn. 132)
Before it became a suburb of Cinderford in the 20th century Ruspidge (formerly Ruspidge Meend), the area south of St. White's Road and east of Cinderford brook, (fn. 133) contained scattered cottages. Building presumably began before the 19th century, when Ruspidge belonged to the Abbots wood estate, and there were 45 inhabited cottages to the south of the settlement at Cinderford bridge in 1841. (fn. 134) William Crawshay, who worked mines there from the late 1820s and purchased the Abbots wood estate in 1836, (fn. 135) owned two rows of cottages near Buckshaft mine in 1838. (fn. 136) The Crawshays provided other dwellings, including c. 1864 Forest Lodge, a large house off St. White's Road. (fn. 137) Abbotswood, the principal house in Ruspidge, stood in grounds higher up to the east and dated from a rebuilding of the 1840s for the Crawshays. (fn. 138) Henry Crawshay lived there in 1851 and his son Edwin (fn. 139) until the late 1870s. (fn. 140) A chapel was added soon after the house became a Church of England temperance home in 1907 (fn. 141) and the house was remodelled after 1917 for A. J. Morgan (fn. 142) (d. 1936), a partner in the Crawshays' mining business. (fn. 143) Abbotswood, which became a convent and nursing home in 1939, (fn. 144) was demolished after 1960 (fn. 145) but an entrance lodge dating from the 1870s (fn. 146) survived as part of a housing estate in 1992. Building continued in Ruspidge in a piecemeal fashion throughout the 19th century, including on Ruspidge Road, which in 1889 became part of a new road from Cinderford to Soudley and Blakeney. (fn. 147) At the south end of Ruspidge a dozen cottages, among them a row owned by Edward Protheroe, stood on the hillside east of the Bullo Pill tramroad in 1838, (fn. 148) and a chapel was built in 1857. (fn. 149) West of the brook on Crown land below Staple Edge there were six cottages by 1856. (fn. 150) The first council houses in Ruspidge were 20 built in 1935 at the south end of Buckshaft Road to replace older cottages nearby. (fn. 151) Council houses built after the Second World War included a group of 26 at the north end of Ruspidge Road begun in 1956. (fn. 152) Several estates of private houses and bungalows were laid out from the 1960s, one of them in the former grounds of Abbotswood. (fn. 153)
The industrial village of Lydbrook on the northern side of the Forest forms a straggling settlement along a narrow valley formed by Greathough (or Lyd) brook as it descends to the river Wye. (fn. 154) A mill was working there in the mid 13th century (fn. 155) and an inhabitant of Lydbrook was recorded in 1282. (fn. 156) The earliest building was in the lower part of the valley, on parochial land divided between English Bicknor, Ruardean, and Newland, (fn. 157) where there was a succession of mills and forges by the late 16th century. (fn. 158) The road from Coleford to Ross-onWye ran west of the brook down to the village of Lower Lydbrook by the Wye; there it turned east and a lane to Stowfield, to the north-west, branched from it. (fn. 159) The Priory, a house at the corner of the old road to English Bicknor, has at its centre a three-bay cross wing of the 16th century. To its north is one bay of a contemporary main range, which may have been an open hall, and to the south a taller block of the early 17th century has a short chimney bay and a one-bay parlour. The earlier ranges appear to have been entirely timber framed with close studding of high quality but the ground-floor wall has mostly been rebuilt in rubble. The later block is of similar construction on a stone basement. The northern end of the 'hall' range was replaced in the later 18th century by a service range of two storeys. A dwelling called Boxbush House, recorded in 1597 (fn. 160) and acquired later by the Vaughan family of Courtfield, (fn. 161) may have been on the site where in 1759 Richard Wheatstone built a house facing across the Ross road to a coal wharf on the Wye. (fn. 162) By 1806 that house had become the New Inn (fn. 163) (later the Courtfield Arms), which was enlarged in the early 20th century. (fn. 164)
In the 18th and 19th centuries the expansion of the ironworks and the establishment of tinplate works above Lower Lydbrook (fn. 165) stimulated much new building in the valley. The ironmasters provided a number of cottages near their works (fn. 166) and in 1832 Lydbrook, including Upper Lydbrook, contained 256 cottages, 210 of them on the extraparochial land of the Forest. (fn. 167) In Lower Lydbrook cottages were built on both sides of the brook (fn. 168) and by the 1780s there were scattered dwellings higher up to the east within the extraparochial area. (fn. 169) Lydbrook House, one of two early 19th-century brick houses at the bottom of Lower Lydbrook, was built for James Pearce (d. 1827), the owner of an adjoining malthouse. (fn. 170) About 1840 it was the home of the ironmaster William Allaway. (fn. 171) To the northwest houses on or overlooking the Stowfield road, formed along the river bank in 1853, (fn. 172) include one built in 1872. (fn. 173) Higher up the Lydbrook valley, near the sites of the highest ironworks, (fn. 174) stands a 17th-century timberframed house with a small early 18th-century wing; it is reputed to have been the childhood home of the actress Sarah Siddons (nee Kemble in 1755). (fn. 175) In the same area there was a scattering of cottages, some of them on Crown land, by the 1750s (fn. 176) and an inn called the Bell in 1792. (fn. 177) East of the road the Anchor inn had opened by 1807 (fn. 178) and a wooden market hall was built next to it in 1873. (fn. 179) From 1874 a viaduct carrying the Severn & Wye railway high across the Lydbrook valley was a dominant feature of Lower Lydbrook; (fn. 180) after its demolition in 1965 (fn. 181) several buildings near the feet of its piers were removed to improve the Ross road and some new houses were built nearby. Although the ironworks and tinplate works closed before 1930, (fn. 182) the industrial character of the lower part of the Lydbrook valley was retained through the construction of new factories on some of their sites.
The earliest cottages in Upper Lydbrook, above Lower Lydbrook, were built in the 18th century. The pattern of settlement, on Crown land, was random. (fn. 183) By the 1820s, when Anglican and nonconformist chapels were erected there, (fn. 184) it extended some way up the valley and included small groups of cottages clinging to the hillsides to the south above a tributary of Greathough brook at the place called Hangerberry and on Camomile green. (fn. 185) In 1743, when Viscount Gage, lord of English Bicknor manor, claimed ownership of Hangerberry, it was said that the Bicknor overseers had built a cottage and that an alehouse had been licensed (fn. 186) and in 1782 seven cottages were recorded there. (fn. 187) The road south-east up the main valley to Mirystock, part of the route to Mitcheldean, had little early building. (fn. 188) Random building continued from the 1840s in Upper Lydbrook, where in 1874 there were well over 197 houses with a population of 890. (fn. 189) Some of the new houses were on the Mirystock road and on the road to Coleford, which ran south through Hangerberry (fn. 190) and had been rebuilt in the late 1820s. (fn. 191) The church of Holy Jesus, which stands high up on the north-east side of the main valley, was opened in 1851. (fn. 192) New building at Upper Lydbrook in the early 20th century included a chapel and a school, (fn. 193) and West Dean rural district council built three pairs of houses at Hangerberry in 1923 and eleven pairs on Camomile green in the early 1930s. (fn. 194)
The village of Parkend in the south of the Forest lies in a basin formed by Cannop brook and several of its tributaries and takes its name from the ancient inclosure of Whitemead park, in a detached part of Newland parish, to the south-west. A dwelling recorded at Parkend in 1725 was possibly in the mid 1770s the solitary cottage standing west of a bridge, (fn. 195) which in the 1670s carried the road linking Coleford with Purton and Gatcombe by way of Yorkley across the brook. (fn. 196) The site of the cottage was occupied by the Fountain inn in 1841. (fn. 197) To the west the Coleford road, which ran north-westwards past York Lodge in 1787, (fn. 198) was evidently diverted along the valley south of Bostonbury and Birch hills after it was turnpiked in 1796. (fn. 199) Parkend grew as an industrial settlement in the early 19th century when, following the establishment of ironworks there and the construction of the Severn & Wye tramroad alongside Cannop brook, it became the focal point for several mineral railways. (fn. 200) In the early 1820s the Revd. Henry Poole built a church and a school to the east. Later he added a parsonage and lodge next to the church, and the school, to the north on the Yorkley road, was rebuilt on a different site. (fn. 201) Most building in Parkend took place after the ironworks, which stood east of the brook and north of the Yorkley road, reopened in the mid 1820s, (fn. 202) and the village's development was influenced by the construction in 1841 of the Blakeney road branching north-eastwards from the Coleford road 400 m. west of Parkend bridge. (fn. 203) In 1841 the ironworks included eight cottages standing under a bridge spanning the Severn & Wye tramroad, (fn. 204) and in or soon after 1847 their owners built 12 cottages to the north-east at Mount Pleasant. (fn. 205) In the early 1850s the area north-west of the ironworks was filled with tinplate works and 24 houses for the workmen. (fn. 206) Those houses, in two three-storeyed ranges set at right angles to one another, became known as the Square. (fn. 207) By 1859 there were three houses on the north-west side of the Blakeney road, including the residence of Thomas and William Allaway, owners of the tinplate works. A row of cottages was built west of the road in 1859 (fn. 208) and more houses and a chapel had been added to the north-west side of the road by the late 1870s. (fn. 209) In 1874 Parkend, together with Moseley Green to the north-east, had a population of 791 living in 143 houses. (fn. 210) On the east side of the village Parkend House, by the Yorkley road, dates from a rebuilding of a house belonging in 1834 to a colliery company. (fn. 211) It became the home of the mine owner T. H. Deakin (d. 1935) (fn. 212) and in 1992 was a hotel. Colliery offices and workshops north of the road were converted as a house known as Castlemain Mill in the mid 20th century. (fn. 213)
Most of the buildings of the ironworks and tinplate works were demolished in the 1890s (fn. 214) and Parkend's triangular plan was consolidated in 1903 when the Lydney road, part of a new route from Lydbrook and running south-east from the Blakeney road, was constructed over the sites of both works. A few houses were built on the north-east side of the new road (fn. 215) and the engine house of the ironworks was converted as a forestry school and institute in 1908. (fn. 216) A playing field laid out by the 1950s occupied most of the land within the triangle formed by the principal roads. (fn. 217) In the early 20th century the village expanded southwards along the Lydney road and after the First World War houses were built on the Blakeney road, at the junction with the Lydbrook road. Further along the Blakeney road eight council houses in a terrace were built in 1923 and several pairs of council houses in 1933; (fn. 218) the estate was much enlarged in the 1950s and 1960s. (fn. 219) Private building continued in the village in the mid 20th century and two factories were built on the Lydbrook road. Among buildings demolished during that period were the Square in the mid 1950s (fn. 220) and a house near the Yorkley road, formerly the British Lion inn, and cottages adjoining it. (fn. 221) West of the village, in the fork of the Coleford and Bream roads, a singlestoreyed tollhouse recorded in 1834 (fn. 222) was rebuilt by the Crown in 1906 as a two-storeyed house. (fn. 223)
OTHER VILLAGES AND HAMLETS.
The other settlements of the Forest are generally less well defined. Those on the fringes of the formerly extraparochial area are treated here in a roughly clockwise progression, beginning near Lydbrook, and are followed by a description of hamlets further within the Forest.
The hillsides east of Lydbrook, (fn. 224) where 44 cottages were recorded in 1782 in the area then known as Moorwood, remained sparsely settled in the 19th century and lacked easy access until a new road from Lydbrook to Ruardean was completed in 1909. (fn. 225) Some of the early cottages were at Joy's green, east of Lower Lydbrook, (fn. 226) where a school was built in the early 1880s. (fn. 227) From 1938, after the area had been transferred to West Dean rural district, (fn. 228) the land west of the school was filled with council houses and bungalows, a process that continued in the early 1970s. (fn. 229) South of the school a number of houses were built by the LydbrookRuardean road in the later 20th century. To the south-east at Horse Lea (or Hawsley) (fn. 230) a solitary cottage, built before 1787 (fn. 231) and enlarged in the mid 19th century, had become a beerhouse by 1870 (fn. 232) and was the Masons' Arms inn in 1992. Many of the early cottages in the Moorwood area were to the north-east adjoining Ruardean parish, including a row, recorded in 1834, by a track to Ruardean at High Beech. (fn. 233) Further west at Vention a cottage built before 1834 (fn. 234) was a beerhouse called the Royal Spring in 1869. (fn. 235)
Crown land south of Ruardean, extending from Astonbridge hill to Ruardean hill, contained 44 scattered dwellings in 1782. (fn. 236) A few were below Smithway in the area known by 1787 as The Pludds. (fn. 237) One of the oldest surviving houses there, Pludds Court at the west end, dates from the late 18th century or the early 19th. Random building continued at the Pludds after 1840 (fn. 238) and a beerhouse called the Royal Oak had opened by 1891. (fn. 239) Among buildings erected after the Second World War were two pairs of council houses completed in 1947 (fn. 240) and several private bungalows. To the north-east the small hamlet of Knights Hill had been established by 1787 east of an ancient farmstead belonging to Ruardean. (fn. 241) It stands on the west side of a deep valley, known as Newham bottom, in which new cottages were built in the 19th century. More extensive settlement took place on the bleak hillside east of that valley at Ruardean woodside, in the area once known as Hanway Eaves, (fn. 242) where the number of cottages rose from c. 10 in 1787 (fn. 243) to c. 46 in 1832. (fn. 244) Some buildings clustered where an ancient route from Ruardean entered the Forest. (fn. 245) To the east a beerhouse called the Roebuck, opened by 1862, acquired new premises closer to the Ruardean Hill road (fn. 246) after that road was completed in 1900. (fn. 247) To the south the Denecroft estate, developed by East Dean rural district council from 1954, comprised 27 houses in 1960. (fn. 248)
On Ruardean Hill, the summit of which is at 290 metres the highest point in the Forest, random building on waste land produced a hillside settlement typical of many on the fringes of the Crown demesne. There were c. 14 cottages on the hill in 1787 (fn. 249) and c. 63 in 1832. (fn. 250) From 1854 the settlement had a chapel on its south side. (fn. 251) The first road over the hill ran from Ruardean Woodside on the west and to a junction with Morse Road, in Ruardean, on the north. After its completion in 1900 (fn. 252) a building nearby, used in 1910 as the Nag's Head inn, was rebuilt. (fn. 253) Little new building took place on the south side of the hill, where a road leading to the Mitcheldean-Coleford road was constructed in 1930, (fn. 254) but from the 1960s several houses, some of them forming a small estate, were built at the top and on the north side. Lower down to the east there was scattered building on Morse Road, formed in 1841 as part of the road from Nailbridge to the Wye at Bishopswood through Ruardean. (fn. 255)
Nailbridge, in the Dry brook valley, took its name from a bridge carrying the Mitcheldean- Coleford road over the brook. (fn. 256) In the later 1790s the section of the road over Harrow hill from Stenders, to the north-east, was diverted through Drybrook village to cross the brook at Teague's (or Pluckpenny) bridge, upstream of Nail bridge, and run south-eastwards to a junction with the Coleford road, from where new roads were built to Littledean to the south-east in the late 1820s and to Mitcheldean, over Plump hill, in 1841. (fn. 257) In 1834 there were five cottages west of the brook near Teague's bridge. (fn. 258) Some later buildings in that area, where two engine houses were used as dwellings in 1856, (fn. 259) were on Morse Road, constructed in 1841 as a continuation north-westwards of the road from Littledean. (fn. 260) To the south-east an area alongside the road filled with mines and railways was covered after 1960 with the extensive yards and buildings of a timber and builders' merchant, (fn. 261) and at the junction of the Coleford road a beerhouse, opened by 1841 (fn. 262) and known as the Railway inn in 1856, (fn. 263) was demolished after 1960. (fn. 264) To the south-west on the north side of the Coleford road a terrace of 15 cottages, later called Hawkwell Row, was built in the 1880s or 1890s by Jacob Chivers or A. C. Bright, successive owners of a nearby colliery and tinplate works, (fn. 265) and several houses and bungalows were built in the mid 20th century. Building on Harrow (or Harry) hill began on the north side towards Drybrook before 1787 (fn. 266) and the hamlet of Harrow Hill contained c. 24 cottages in 1832. (fn. 267) Holy Trinity church, standing to the south-west on Quarry hill, was opened in 1817 (fn. 268) and a parsonage house was completed, to the southeast, a few years later. (fn. 269) Cottages were built in old inclosures on the main part of Harrow hill from the mid 19th century (fn. 270) and scattered houses and bungalows were built in the area in the later 20th century.
Drybrook, a village north of Cinderford, grew up at a crossing of Dry brook by an old route from Mitcheldean to Ruardean, (fn. 271) called Morse Lane west of the village. East of the brook, which marked the eastern boundary of Ruardean, (fn. 272) two small farmsteads were established in the Morse grounds, an area belonging to Newland. (fn. 273) One, later Drybrook Farm, was near the brook and was described as new-built in 1749 when ownership of the Morse grounds passed from the Crawley-Boeveys of Flaxley Abbey to the Colchesters of the Wilderness. (fn. 274) In 1840 the farmstead further east was called the Morse and occupied by William Manning, (fn. 275) and later it was called Manning's Farm. (fn. 276) In 1782 there were also 12 cottages at Drybrook on the extraparochial Forest waste bordering Ruardean (fn. 277) and by 1832 their number had risen to c. 38, including several to the north at Hawthorns. (fn. 278) The route from Mitcheldean, by way of Stenders to the east, had been improved in 1766 (fn. 279) and incorporated in the later 1790s in a new road to Coleford, which branched south to follow a track past Drybrook Farm to Nailbridge. A lane running northwards to Hawthorns was included in 1841 in a new road to Bailey Lane End on the Forest boundary. (fn. 280) The junction of the Mitcheldean- Nailbridge road with the roads to Ruardean and Bailey Lane End became the focal point of the village and was the site of several inns in the later 19th century (fn. 281) and of several shops in 1992. The Hearts of Oak (formerly the New Inn), (fn. 282) a short distance to the south-west, was built as a beerhouse in 1838. (fn. 283) Most of the early cottages were north-west of the crossroads (fn. 284) and in 1836 a chapel was erected on the Hawthorns road. (fn. 285) On the south-west side of the village Quabbs House (formerly the Quabbs) belonged to Ruardean and in 1847 was the residence of the mine owner Cornelius Brain. (fn. 286) A school was built on the Nailbridge road in 1862. (fn. 287) From 1907 Drybrook had a passenger railway service to Gloucester from a halt (fn. 288) on the west side of the village, and in the early 20th century a few houses were built on the east side by the Mitcheldean road. (fn. 289) The village was much enlarged after the Second World War and it became the centre of the new civil parish of Drybrook created in 1953 for the surrounding hamlets. (fn. 290) Most of the new houses were north of the Mitcheldean road in the large Sunnymeade estate, which was developed piecemeal by East Dean rural district council from 1948. The estate, which included several blocks of flats, was extended eastwards in 1969. (fn. 291) Some private houses were also built in the village during that period.
North of Drybrook there were 11 cottages on Dean (or Mitcheldean) Meend in 1782. (fn. 292) A small settlement on the road to Hope Mansell (Herefs.), known as Hawthorns in the 1830s, straddled the boundary between the extraparochial Forest and the parishes of Ruardean and Hope Mansell to the west (fn. 293) and originated as a cluster of buildings on the parochial land in the 16th century at the place then called Haseley. (fn. 294) In 1851 the hamlet included an inn known as the Crown. (fn. 295) In the late 1870s T. B. Brain had gasworks at Puddlebrook, to the north-east, (fn. 296) supplying Euroclydon, his large house on a prominent site nearby, in Hope Mansell parish. (fn. 297) Some of the dwellings recorded on Mitcheldean Meend in 1782 may have stood on the edge of Wigpool common, to the north, where settlement remained widely scattered in 1834. (fn. 298) Among the houses there in 1992 was one built in the late 19th century at an iron-ore mine. (fn. 299) In 1782 there was also a cottage to the east in Lining wood, (fn. 300) overlooking the Mitcheldean-Lea road. South-west of Wigpool at Blackwell meadows, a detached part of Mitcheldean parish, (fn. 301) a cottage or small farmhouse built by 1583 (fn. 302) was one of two dwellings there in 1785. (fn. 303) It was apparently rebuilt as two cottages in the mid 19th century and three or four more houses had been built near it by the later 20th century.
There was also early settlement below Wigpool in scattered parts of Lea Bailey tithing of Newland adjoining Forest woodland known as Lea Bailey. (fn. 304) The tithing, which also comprised land on Littledean hill adjoining Cinderford and at Lea Line and Blaisdon, (fn. 305) contained a number of dwellings in the early 17th century (fn. 306) and one at Lea Line had been a victualling house in 1596. (fn. 307) By the 18th century several small farmsteads or cottages had been built north and north-west of Wigpool on parts of the tithing which overlooked Weston under Penyard (Herefs.) and Lea (Glos. and Herefs.) and included many of the cottages strung out along a road to Lea in the mid 19th century. (fn. 308) Merryfold, a small farmhouse recorded from 1659, (fn. 309) stood on the site of Lea Bailey (formerly Merefold or Mereford) Farm, north-west of Wigpool. (fn. 310) To the southwest, where a cottage was recorded in 1705 and a new one was built c. 1818, (fn. 311) a pound was established within the Forest before 1788 (fn. 312) and there was a small group of cottages, some in Lea Bailey tithing and some on extraparochial land, in 1834. (fn. 313) Some way north-east of Lea Bailey Farm, a small farmhouse, known in 1992 as Pound Farm, dates from the 18th century. Some cottages had been built within the Forest at Lea Bailey by the mid 18th century, 5 being recorded there in 1752 (fn. 314) and 13 in 1782. (fn. 315) The largest group in the 1780s clung to the hillside at Lea Bailey Hill, north of Wigpool. (fn. 316) A few early cottages within the Forest were on or near the Lea road, to the south-west, (fn. 317) where a nonconformist chapel was built in 1836 and an inn called the Yew Tree was open in the late 1870s. (fn. 318) To the south-west at Bailey Lane End, where one or two cottages had been built by a lane from the Rudge in Weston under Penyard by 1787, (fn. 319) a small hamlet was formed after 1841, when a road linking Drybrook, to the south, with Rosson-Wye was built there. (fn. 320) Little building took place west of the road until the later 20th century when several new houses and bungalows were built in the hamlet.
By the 1780s there were also scattered cottages on the edge of the Forest in the main part of Lea Bailey, which occupied a promontory extending north-westward from Bailey Lane End to a place called Hell Gay Gate. Several were in the area known by 1841 as the Dancing green and several were to the north-west, where a lane from Pontshill in Weston under Penyard entered the Forest. In 1787 there were a few cottages south of Hell Gay Gate on the hillside then known as Palmer's hill, (fn. 321) where by 1834 a small group had formed at Palmer's Flat, on the boundary of Weston under Penyard. (fn. 322) Nearby to the south, where a part of Lea Bailey tithing adjoined the Forest on the hillside above Hope Mansell (fn. 323) in the area once known as Lea Bailey Side, one or two small farmsteads or cottages had been built by 1625 (fn. 324) and a small group of cottages straddled the Forest boundary in the early 19th century. (fn. 325) Most of those in Lea Bailey tithing were said in 1812 to belong to a Mr. Palmer. (fn. 326) Further south at Baileybrook, where an early cottage by Bailey brook belonged to Lea Bailey tithing, (fn. 327) there were cottages higher up within the Forest by the 1780s. Upstream within the Forest at Newtown, to the south-east, there was a cottage by the brook in 1787 (fn. 328) and several more cottages were built after 1834. (fn. 329) On the opposite, western, side of the Hope Mansell valley, Knacker's Hole, occupying the end of a ridge above the buildings called Bill Mill, was formerly a detached part of Lea Bailey tithing. In 1812 it contained three cottages, (fn. 330) one on the crest of the ridge and the others presumably lower down to the north-east, where three cottages, including a pair, stood in 1840. (fn. 331)
North-east of Wigpool on Mitcheldean common a cottage on the west side of the Mitcheldean-Lea road was the Rising Sun beerhouse in 1838. (fn. 332) East of the road a farmstead in Lea Bailey tithing was part of Maynard Colchester's estates in 1785 (fn. 333) and its house was rebuilt in the mid 19th century. To the southeast, at the south-east corner of Howley grove, Laine's Farm is a small early 19th-century farmhouse at the site of a barn recorded from 1772. (fn. 334) To the north-east at Lea Line settlement on land belonging to Lea Bailey tithing comprised in 1840 a cottage on the Gloucester-Ross road and a farmhouse, rebuilt later in the century, and a tollhouse by the road to Aston Crews (Herefs.). (fn. 335)
On the east side of the Forest there were 10 cottages in 1782 in the area then known as Edge Hills. (fn. 336) One may have been the small isolated farmhouse west of Plump hill which Thomas Crawley-Boevey granted under lease to Giles Loquier in 1729. The farmhouse, part of the Colchester family's estates from 1749, (fn. 337) became known as Loquiers Farm (fn. 338) arid by 1840 a barn had been built to the east in a detached part of Newland parish where the farmland lay. (fn. 339) In the 1780s there were apparently three cottages at the bottom of Plump hill, south-west of Mitcheldean. (fn. 340) By 1832 the number of dwellings in the hamlet of Plump hill had risen to c. 32, (fn. 341) and the development of Westbury Brook mine and other industrial activity stimulated more random building there later in the century. (fn. 342) Some new buildings faced the Mitcheldean-Coleford road, constructed over the hill in 1841. (fn. 343) One of the first, half way up the hill, was a beerhouse in 1851. (fn. 344) Later called the Point inn, it was demolished during road improvement after 1960. (fn. 345) Higher up the road a pair of small houses was built in 1876 by the quarrymaster Aaron Simmonds. (fn. 346) Much further along the road on Merring Meend a pair of houses built near Fairplay mine in 1856 (fn. 347) was later converted as four cottages. (fn. 348) Most houses built at Plump Hill in the 20th century were on the lower part of the hill. Cottages dotting the steep wooded hillsides further south, near Abenhall, include an early group in Horsepool bottom. (fn. 349)
Further south in the Edge Hills area, where there were c. 12 cottages in 1832, (fn. 350) several small dispersed settlements, including Collafield, had been established by the 1780s. (fn. 351) At Shapridge there were four cottages on Crown land above Gunn's Mills in 1782, (fn. 352) and south of Shapridge the hamlet of Green Bottom, in a remote valley west of the Mitcheldean-Littledean road, contained two or three cottages in 1787. (fn. 353) Later buildings include a house built in 1877 as part of the new Cinderford waterworks west of Green Bottom. (fn. 354) To the south, on the Littledean road, a house built in 1859 (fn. 355) became a nurses' home in 1908 when an isolation hospital, an iron building put up nearer Green Bottom in 1896, was re-erected in its garden. (fn. 356)
East of the Mitcheldean-Littledean road there were 15 cottages on the lower slopes of Chestnuts hill in 1782. (fn. 357) Some were on the south-western side at Waterend Lane, (fn. 358) on the Littledean boundary, where six cottages stood on Crown land in 1834. (fn. 359) More extensive squatter settlement took place east of the hill at Pope's hill, where in 1787 there were c. 10 cottages scattered over a wide area including Hangman's hill to the north and Blackmore's Hale to the south-east, on the boundary of Westbury-onSevern. (fn. 360) The population of Pope's Hill in the early 1830s was c. 150. (fn. 361) To the south, near the Westbury-Littledean road, a cottage on the old Littledean road had become a beerhouse (in 1992 the Greyhound inn) by 1841. (fn. 362) Further west on the Westbury-Littledean road a pair of small brick houses called Model Cottages is dated 1863. South of Littledean village on the Soudley road a lodge was built on Crown land at Sutton in 1904. (fn. 363) Further east settlement above Newnham in Blaize Bailey comprised two cottages in 1782. (fn. 364)
The village of Soudley, lying in the Cinderford brook valley downstream from Ruspidge, grew up north of the brook on the Abbots wood estate. Some of the first dwellings were in a remote spot known as Scilly Point, (fn. 365) to the west of Soudley bridge (fn. 366) which had been built before 1674 to carry the Dean road. (fn. 367) Many, if not all, of the early cottages, which in 1841 numbered 19 (fn. 368) and included a row of three owned by Edward Protheroe, (fn. 369) were built following the construction of the Bullo Pill tramroad along the valley in the early 19th century. The tramroad became a road after a railway opened there in 1854 (fn. 370) and the road was incorporated in the new Cinderford-Blakeney road in 1889. (fn. 371) In Upper Soudley, the part of the village near Soudley bridge, a school-chapel provided in 1875 was replaced later by separate and more substantial buildings. (fn. 372) The White Horse inn, near the junction of the Littledean road, dates from c. 1898. (fn. 373) In 1931 East Dean and United Parishes rural district council built three pairs of houses west of the church. (fn. 374) More council houses were provided after the Second World War, most of them between 1954 and 1968 in a small estate east of the Littledean road, and private houses were built at the west end of the village after 1960. (fn. 375) South of the brook some early cottages were built on Bradley hill, (fn. 376) at the foot of which two cottages were built after 1787 (fn. 377) on the site occupied in the late 1870s by Brook Farm. (fn. 378) Higher up are a chapel built in 1846 (fn. 379) and a building of the late 1830s used until c. 1898 as the White Horse beerhouse. (fn. 380) Downstream of Upper Soudley towards Lower Soudley, industrial buildings at Camp Mill, dating from the 19th century, were adapted as the Dean Heritage museum in 1983. (fn. 381)
There was scattered building downstream of Soudley where the valley of the brook became a centre of ironworking in the later 18th century. While the ironworks were east of the brook within Newnham parish, (fn. 382) many of the cottages built before the mid 19th century were on the west side of the valley on extraparochial land in the areas known as Bradley and Ayleford. (fn. 383) At Bradley, sometimes called Ayleford in the mid 19th century, (fn. 384) there were in 1782 five cottages including those on Bradley hill to the west. (fn. 385) By the brook Bradley House was presumably built for Samuel Hewlett, an ironfounder who was the occupant in 1834. (fn. 386) To the south are two mid 19th-century houses, one, Ayleford House, dated 1866. Downstream, nearer the hamlet of Ayleford, a row of four cottages north-west of Two Bridges, owned by Samuel Hewlett in 1834, (fn. 387) was partly derelict in 1992. Further south at Brain's Green on the boundary with Awre parish scattered settlement included c. 16 dwellings on Crown land in 1834. (fn. 388) One, a three-storeyed house, is dated 1785 with the initials of George Gwilliam, a carpenter, and his wife Mary. (fn. 389)
Many of the cottages and gardens in Blakeney walk in 1752 (fn. 390) were presumably at Blakeney Hill, at the south-east corner of the Forest, on a steep hillside above Blakeney village. (fn. 391) The hill, on which 34 cottages were recorded in 1782, (fn. 392) has been extensively quarried and the east side was known as Gibralter in the early 19th century. (fn. 393) Many of the early cottages were on the south- west side in the Blackpool brook valley, (fn. 394) the floor of which was known as Old Furnace bottom from early ironworks. (fn. 395) By 1834 there were c. 80 cottages, including one dated 1830, on the hill and in the valley, (fn. 396) and later there was much new building and rebuilding there, typical cottages being dated 1848 and 1850. On the south-west side of the hill, which became known as Blakeney Woodside, some houses and bungalows were built in the later 19th and the 20th centuries on the Blakeney-Coleford road, constructed along the valley in 1841. (fn. 397) A school was provided, at Blakeney Woodside, in 1851 (fn. 398) and a nonconformist chapel, in a prominent position at the top of the hill, in 1874. (fn. 399)
Further south random settlement began on Viney hill before 1787, (fn. 400) and c. 30 cottages had been built there by 1834. (fn. 401) The earliest dwellings were on the east side of the hill, just within the extraparochial Forest and north of a road descending to the river Severn at Gatcombe. (fn. 402) The road's course over the hill was diverted northwards after it was turnpiked in 1796. (fn. 403) Much rebuilding and new building took place on the hill after 1840, and several large houses and bungalows commanding extensive views across the Severn were built in the later 20th century. The New Inn, north of the Gatcombe-Yorkley road, had opened by 1876. (fn. 404) In 1834 there was a number of cottages to the west in the Hay End area. (fn. 405) Old Albion House, on the Yorkley road, was originally an inn built before 1855 (fn. 406) to replace a beerhouse to the south-east. (fn. 407) To the west a school and schoolhouse were built on the Yorkley road in 1850, (fn. 408) and All Saints' church and its parsonage were built nearer Viney Hill hamlet in the mid 1860s. (fn. 409) Early squatter settlement south of the Yorkley road in Oldcroft, where Crown land formed a wedge on high ground above Lydney, included the 13 cottages recorded in 1782 at Deadman's Cross, (fn. 410) where the road crossed the Dean road linking Littledean and Lydney. (fn. 411) In 1834 Oldcroft contained c. 35 scattered cottages, (fn. 412) and later new houses were put up and some older ones replaced. In the later 20th century several cottages were enlarged and some large houses were built, especially on the south-east side of the hamlet. On the north-west side, at a place known as the Tuft of Beeches, (fn. 413) a public house called the Loyal Forester closed before 1893. (fn. 414)
By the early 20th century a string of mining villages had grown up along the southern edge of the Forest from Yorkley Slade in the east to Bream in the west. The earliest buildings at Yorkley were on detached parts of Newland comprising Badhamsfield and Yorkley Court farms. (fn. 415) In 1782 there were also 18 cottages scattered widely on extraparochial land in the Bailey hill area. (fn. 416) Some were on the lower ground to the east at Yorkley Slade, formerly the Slade, where four dwellings stood in a clearing north of the Gatcombe-Coleford road in 1787. (fn. 417) There were c. 14 cottages in the clearing in 1834 (fn. 418) and their number increased later. (fn. 419) Some way to the north-east, within the woodland at Tomlin, there were at least three cottages in the early 1770s (fn. 420) but only a single abandoned house in 1958. (fn. 421) The Nag's Head inn, south of the Gatcombe-Coleford road in Newland parish, (fn. 422) was recorded from 1788 (fn. 423) and was enlarged c. 1850 by the addition of a range with two cottages at the north end. (fn. 424) From the later 19th century a few houses, including one dated 1874, were built on the Gatcombe road. West of Yorkley Slade, five houses were built on the south side of the Coleford road between 1834 and 1859 (fn. 425) and several houses on the north side in the early 20th century. (fn. 426) From 1930 a large estate of council houses was formed on the hillside to the north. (fn. 427)
Further west in Yorkley in the late 1780s there were c. 16 fairly widely scattered cottages on high ground overlooking a valley to the southwest. Half of them were on Crown land and the rest on the Yorkley Court estate. (fn. 428) In 1834 there were c. 40 cottages in that area. (fn. 429) In the mid 19th century much rebuilding and new building took place at Yorkley, some of it by employees at the Parkend ironworks, and in 1874 Yorkley together with Pillowell, to the south-west, had 224 houses spread haphazardly over a wide area and a population of 1,172. (fn. 430) Crossroads at the top of Bailey hill, where the Gatcombe-Coleford road turned northwards and was joined by other routes, became a focal point. An inn there was known as the Royal Oak in 1910 (fn. 431) and as the Bailey inn in 1992. On the Lydney road running southwards from the crossroads are a house dated 1811 and, at the corner of a lane to Yorkley Wood, a cottage dated 1796. Further along the Lydney road two cottages were built on Crown land before 1834. (fn. 432) North of the crossroads building on the west side of the Coleford road began in the mid 19th century and by 1859 a new tollhouse had been erected some distance from the village. The Bream road, which descends south-westwards to Pillowell from the Coleford road, was constructed after 1859 (fn. 433) and attracted some new building, notably at the bottom of Yorkley where a few council houses were provided in 1923 (fn. 434) and the 1950s. (fn. 435) A large house on Captain's green, north-west of the road, was built in 1930 as the parsonage for an intended church and was later converted to accommodate a mission church. (fn. 436) Among houses built after the Second World War were a few in the 1980s forming a small private estate on the road descending westwards from the crossroads on Bailey hill.
Settlement at Pillowell, on the side of the valley below Yorkley, began before 1742 on land belonging to Newland parish (fn. 437) and the village included in 1787 c. 10 cottages on Crown land to the north-west. Most dwellings were at the lower end, to the south-west, (fn. 438) near the well which gave the village its name (fn. 439) and where a cottage was built c. 1784 on the north side of Kidnalls wood. (fn. 440) By 1835, when a chapel was built on the hillside, (fn. 441) the number of cottages had increased to c. 30 (fn. 442) and in 1851 the houses within Newland parish numbered seven. (fn. 443) In the mid 19th century new houses were built on the hillside and some older ones were rebuilt, two cottages just below Yorkley being dated 1842 and one at the bottom of the Yorkley Wood road 1849, and in 1877 a large school and a pair of schoolhouses were built on the valley floor. (fn. 444) A few houses were later built on the Yorkley- Bream road, constructed after 1859, (fn. 445) and eight council houses were provided in the village in 1940. (fn. 446) In a valley to the north-west the hamlet of Phipps Bottom comprised five or six cottages in 1834, (fn. 447) and a beerhouse called the Swan opened there by the Bream road before 1891. (fn. 448)
The hamlet of Yorkley Wood (formerly Jones's Wood), (fn. 449) high above Yorkley and Pillowell in the detached part of Newland parish, was established in the 1840s when a small wood formerly belonging to the Yorkley Court estate was cleared. (fn. 450) Twenty small houses had been built by 1851 (fn. 451) and a few more were added later. To the south Shaphouse Farm (formerly Grove Cottage), (fn. 452) at the site of two cottages recorded in 1840, (fn. 453) includes late 20th-century buildings provided for an equestrian centre.
The village of Whitecroft, at a crossing of Cannop brook, grew up on extraparochial land and an adjoining part of Bream tithing of Newland. (fn. 454) There was at least one cottage within the tithing in the late 17th century (fn. 455) but most of the original dwellings, including 16 cottages recorded in 1782, (fn. 456) were placed randomly on Crown land. (fn. 457) To the north, terraces containing 30 cottages were built before 1834 on either side of the Severn & Wye tramroad (later railway) for employees in the Parkend collieries. (fn. 458) They were demolished in the 20th century, one row surviving until the mid 1970s. (fn. 459) On the east side of Whitecroft a chapel on the hillside opposite Pillowell dates from 1824 (fn. 460) and some building had taken place on the north side of the new Bream-Yorkley road by 1878. (fn. 461) In 1874 the main part of the village including Parkhill had 116 houses with a population of 610. (fn. 462) To the north on the Parkend road, completed in 1903 as part of the route linking Lydney and Lydbrook, (fn. 463) there was little building before the mid 20th century when several industrial workshops were erected. (fn. 464) On the south side of Whitecroft, where a factory was built in 1866, (fn. 465) industrial sites developed on both sides of the Lydney road in the later 20th century. During that period small estates of private and council houses grew up on both sides of the Yorkley road, and in the late 1980s a few private houses were built east of the Parkend road. At Parkhill, on the west side of Whitecroft where some of the early cottages on Crown land stood, (fn. 466) there were 18 houses in 1851. (fn. 467) In the early 20th century several houses were built to the northwest (fn. 468) and in 1923 West Dean rural district council built seven pairs of houses north of the Bream road. (fn. 469) More council houses were built in the 1930s and the council estate was extended northwards in 1949. (fn. 470) Further along the Bream road several brick buildings put up in the early 20th century for Princess Royal colliery survived in 1992. (fn. 471)
South-west of Whitecroft there were half a dozen cottages on Saunders green in 1834. (fn. 472) Later the small hamlet of Brockhollands, on a hillside above Cannop brook, was formed north-west of an ancient farmstead within Newland parish. (fn. 473) A row of brick cottages had been built near the road from the Tufts to Bream by the early 1870s when, following the diversion of a new road to Whitecroft, a land society sponsored by a Conservative building society laid out roads for a housing estate lower down the valley side. (fn. 474) Two pairs of houses had been built at Paisley (or Peaseley) by the late 1870s (fn. 475) but the venture was abandoned and most of the roads have disappeared. A row of stone cottages was built on the Bream road in the 1880s or 1890s (fn. 476) and later buildings there included a few houses and bungalows. Further along the road several cottages were built near Pastor's Hill, another farmstead of Newland parish, before 1840. (fn. 477)
The village of Bream, in the north-west part of a large detached part of Newland, grew northwards to include the area around Bream's eaves on extraparochial land. (fn. 478) There 10 cottages had been built on encroachments on Crown land by 1752 (fn. 479) and settlement, which contained 29 cottages in 1782, (fn. 480) remained widely scattered in the early 19th century. (fn. 481) Just outside the extraparochial area, on the Parkend road north of the old part of Bream village, a stone house dated 1729 was the Rising Sun inn by 1787. (fn. 482) It has been enlarged and in 1992 was known as the Village Inn. To the south-west a row of cottages had been built by the roadside by 1840. (fn. 483) Between 1840 and 1880 many cottages, several of them in pairs, were built on the former encroachments around Bream's Eaves, (fn. 484) which in 1874 had 301 houses and a population of 1,519. (fn. 485) Settlement remained scattered and until after the First World War most new building was confined to those plots. Buildings on the Parkend road included, on the east side, a school at the junction of the lane to Pastor's Hill in 1862. (fn. 486) In the early 20th century the road took on the appearance of a main street (later High Street) with the building, beyond the school, of several shops and houses, (fn. 487) one of which later became the Cross Keys inn. South-west of the school and opposite the Rising Sun, land called Sun green became a recreation ground c. 1887 (fn. 488) and at the junction of the road to Bream's Meend, known in 1788 as St. Ann's Cross, (fn. 489) a cenotaph to villagers killed in the First World War was raised in the early 1920s. (fn. 490) At Bream Woodside, by the lane to Pastor's Hill, there were over a dozen cottages, half of them within Newland parish, in 1834 (fn. 491) and one later building was the King's Head inn in 1876. (fn. 492) To the north more cottages appeared east of Hang hill in the mid 19th century and lower down to the east, where there was a beerhouse called the Masons' Arms in 1879, (fn. 493) several houses were built in the early 20th century. (fn. 494) In the west in the Mill hill area, where there were less than a dozen cottages in 1834, (fn. 495) later buildings included a few cottages on the north-west side of Sun green, one of which is dated 1863. Some new building also took place at Bream's Meend, to the south-west, where there had been c. 12 cottages in 1834, and at Bream Tufts, by the Bream-Coleford road, where a school dating from 1830 and three cottages had stood in 1834. (fn. 496)
After the First World War there was much new building in the Bream area. From 1923 houses were built by West Dean rural district council, and by the Second World War dwellings, including 64 council houses, lined the Parkend road (fn. 497) as far as Knockley Cottages, a pair of houses to the north-east built by the Crown in 1909 for the Princess Royal Colliery Co. (fn. 498) Later council houses were on the east side of Bream's Eaves. There development of the Hillside estate, south of the Yorkley road, began in 1948 with the provision of 20 bungalows (later replaced) (fn. 499) and continued in 1992 with the construction of 14 houses under the sponsorship of the district council and a housing association. To the southwest the Highbury estate, which included 16 council houses built off the south part of High Street in 1923, (fn. 500) was enlarged from 1955 to cover an area reaching eastwards to Bream Woodside. (fn. 501) Many houses and bungalows were built privately in the 20th century, usually as small infill schemes among groups of older cottages, and as a result in 1992 the built-up area extended from Pastor's Hill in the east to Bream Tufts in the west.
North-west of Bream a few, mainly industrial, buildings were put up from the 1840s in the Oakwood valley near an ancient corn mill in a detached part of Newland parish. (fn. 502) Further west at Clements End, near the south-western boundary of the Forest, there were several groups of scattered cottages by 1787. (fn. 503) One group, in the areas known in the 1820s as Clements Tump and Cleverend Green, (fn. 504) comprised six cottages in 1834 (fn. 505) and was represented by the 16 houses recorded at 'Elwall in 1851. (fn. 506) It included a nonconformist chapel from 1869. (fn. 507) To the north-west there were ten cottages on Clements End green in 1834 (fn. 508) and among later buildings there one, in 1878 a beerhouse, (fn. 509) was the Montague inn in 1992. By 1787 there were also a few dwellings north-east of Clements End at Little Drybrook, in a secluded valley below an old farmhouse (later Ellwood Lodge) in an adjoining detached part of Newland. (fn. 510) The hamlet comprised six cottages in 1834, (fn. 511) among them a two-storeyed dwelling dated 1805 with the initials of William Taylor, a quarry owner, and his wife Hannah. (fn. 512) Building had also begun in the Marsh Lane area, to the north-west, by 1787. (fn. 513) There 11 cottages were scattered along the lane, which ran northwards to Ellwood, in 1834 (fn. 514) and a few more were erected later in the century.
Some early building was done at Ellwood within the detached part of Newland (fn. 515) and there were also 11 cottages on extraparochial land to the north and north-east by 1782. A few were at Dark Hill and Fetter Hill. (fn. 516) Ellwood, where a nonconformist chapel was built in 1841 (fn. 517) and a school in 1878, (fn. 518) had 20 houses, 7 of them within Newland, in 1851. (fn. 519) Later houses included one provided by the Crown in the 1900s, (fn. 520) and in the mid and later 20th century the hamlet grew with the addition of several new houses and bungalows, among them four council houses in 1968. (fn. 521) The areas north and west of Ellwood have been much disturbed by mining and quarrying and have remained sparsely settled. (fn. 522) One cottage among quarries at Dark Hill was known in 1837 as the Vine Tree. (fn. 523) At Fetter Hill, where there were a few cottages near the Coleford-Parkend road in 1834, (fn. 524) several new houses were built in the 19th and 20th centuries, (fn. 525) and some of the early cottages had been demolished by 1960. (fn. 526) A few houses were built further along the Parkend road in the mid 19th century. (fn. 527)
In 1752 there were several dwellings on Clearwell Meend, on the Forest boundary east of Clearwell in Newland, (fn. 528) and in 1782 there were 23 cottages scattered over a wide area extending to Clements End green and Marsh Lane. (fn. 529) The remains of a cross known in the later 17th century as Gattle's cross stood east of the Lydney-Coleford road in 1992. (fn. 530) On the south side of Clearwell Meend at Clay Lane End, where the hamlet called Sling developed in the 20th century, the area east of the Lydney-Coleford road contained an ancient farmstead just within Newland parish and a few scattered cottages in 1834, and there was a tollhouse west of the road. Two of the cottages, in the fork of a road to Parkend, (fn. 531) were later occupied by a beerhouse called the Miners' Arms. (fn. 532) Several more cottages were built before the 1920s when the growth of Sling, named from a local mine, (fn. 533) began around crossroads formed by routes from St. Briavels to Parkend and from Bream's Eaves to Coleford. Four pairs of council houses were built on the Coleford road in 1923 and a few more council houses were completed in 1931. (fn. 534) Later, engineering works were established north of the hamlet, which grew considerably after the Second World War with the building of large numbers of council and private houses and bungalows. (fn. 535) Many of the new houses, including an estate formed in the late 1980s, were on the road to Bream's Eaves, along which the hamlet extended south-eastwards to Clements End in 1992.
On the western side of the Forest a line of continuous settlement developed along the boundary of Coleford tithing of Newland. The earliest houses at Milkwall were within Coleford, (fn. 536) north of Clearwell Meend, and in 1834 there were only three dwellings on the extraparochial Crown land there. The westernmost, standing near the Coleford-Chepstow road, was known as Perrygrove House in 1841 (fn. 537) and was apparently enlarged for the ironmaster W. H. Jackson in the early 1840s. (fn. 538) Among houses built within the extraparochial area after 1834 was one used in the late 1870s as a beerhouse, (fn. 539) later the Tufthorn inn. By 1865 building had begun on new roads within Coleford at Tufthorn laid out by the British Land Society (fn. 540) and by the late 1870s there were over 20 houses on them. Building continued there into the 20th century, (fn. 541) and the built-up area later spread north-west towards Coleford town and south into the Forest. Most of the new houses and bungalows within the Forest, some of them built before 1960, were on the Lambsquay and Ellwood roads, (fn. 542) the second of which had been made in 1906. (fn. 543) A church was built at Milkwall in 1935. (fn. 544) In 1834 there were a few 18th- and early 19th-century cottages on Gorsty knoll and at Palmer's Flat, east and north-east of Milkwall respectively. (fn. 545) At Palmer's Flat the land society mentioned above had acquired a plot of land near the road to Coalway Lane End by 1859 and c. 20 houses had been built on it by the late 1870s. (fn. 546) Piecemeal building continued there later. (fn. 547) Lower down to the east, where a small group of cottages was formed near the Coleford-Parkend road in the mid 19th century, (fn. 548) several houses were replaced after 1960. (fn. 549)
Scattered encroachments on Coleford Meend, east of Coleford tithing and perhaps including some at Palmer's Flat, contained 2 cottages in 1752 (fn. 550) and 21 in 1782. (fn. 551) Later building was both within and outside the extraparochial Forest (fn. 552) and in 1874 the area, the Lane End district, contained 349 houses and a population of 1,638 within the Forest. (fn. 553) Four of the cottages on extraparochial land in 1782 were the first dwellings of the hamlet of Coalway Lane End. Early building at Coalway was on or near the road between Coleford and Parkend, (fn. 554) which was diverted southwards after it was turnpiked in 1796. (fn. 555) On the road within Coleford are two late 18th-century houses and a cottage dated 1828, and an inn called the Plough had opened there by 1851. (fn. 556) A road to Five Acres, which branched north-eastwards from the Coleford-Parkend road at the Forest boundary, was diverted c. 1858 to form a continuation northwards of the route from Palmer's Flat, (fn. 557) and in the late 19th century and the early 20th several houses were built on it and near the crossroads it made with the Coleford-Parkend route. (fn. 558) There was much new building at Coalway in the later 20th century, particularly within Coleford. In 1955 an estate of 12 council houses was built north of the Coleford road (fn. 559) and in 1966 and 1977 schools were opened there. (fn. 560) Private houses were built west of the Five Acres road after 1960 and, further north at Wynols Hill, the site of a large camp established early in the Second World War and occupied from 1942 by Italian prisoners, was covered with houses in the 1970s. (fn. 561) To the north, near Broadwell, an estate of 64 council houses was built in the mid 1950s and enlarged in the early 1960s. (fn. 562)
Settlement at Broadwell Lane End principally followed the Forest boundary and the road from Coalway to Five Acres. In 1787 it contained c. 12 cottages on Crown land. (fn. 563) Some cottages built before 1834 were on the Coleford-Littledean road including a group within Coleford at Littledean (formerly Poolway) Lane End. (fn. 564) In the north-eastern angle of the crossroads formed by the two roads a school was built in 1863 (fn. 565) and a church in 1938. (fn. 566) Further north the British Land Society laid out new roads north of Broadwell Farm, an old farmstead within Coleford, in 1859 and several houses had been built on them by the late 1870s. (fn. 567) Many of Broadwell's 20th-century houses were provided by West Dean rural district council, which between 1923 and 1934 built 44 east of the Five Acres road, in 1948 filled the area to the south with prefabricated bungalows, most of which were replaced later in the century, and in 1968 and 1970 built 58 houses on an estate to the north. (fn. 568) South-east of the Littledean road in the Barnhill area there were 12 cottages in 1851 (fn. 569) and five pairs of council houses were built in 1936 and 1938. (fn. 570) Piecemeal private building continued at Broadwell in the late 1980s. Further north on the Five Acres road at Mile End the earliest cottages on Crown land, numbering five in 1787, were north-west of the Coleford-Mitcheldean road. (fn. 571) Among those built there before 1834 were a few on the Mitcheldean road within Coleford at the place known as Mitcheldean (formerly Dark Stile) Lane End. (fn. 572)
In the north-western corner of the Forest there was much early building around Berry hill, where the extraparochial land formed a peninsula to the north of Coleford, and in 1836 the settlement was called Upper Berry Hill to distinguish it from Lower Berry Hill in Coleford. (fn. 573) Several farmsteads were established on the Forest boundary at Berry Hill and at Five Acres, to the east, (fn. 574) and by 1782 there were 23 cottages scattered over the extraparochial land. (fn. 575) Most of the cottages, including several built before 1758, were in the south-west on or near the road from Coleford to English Bicknor. (fn. 576) In that area, known in 1851 as Brooming knoll, (fn. 577) a house built c. 1830 had become the King's Head beerhouse by 1856. (fn. 578) To the north-west a small farmhouse recorded in 1758 (fn. 579) and known later as Whitehall (fn. 580) was derelict in 1992. To the north on the Bicknor road Christ Church, the first church to be built in the extraparochial Forest, dates from 1812. (fn. 581) Some of the encroachments containing 18th- or early 19th-century cottages were at Five Acres (fn. 582) and one cottage there became the Rising Sun inn after the construction of the Monmouth-Mitcheldean road past its south side in 1841. (fn. 583) After 1840 many new cottages and houses were built at Berry Hill and Five Acres, and in 1874 the area, including nearby Joyford and Short Standing, had 295 houses and a population of 1,311. (fn. 584) A chapel was built at Five Acres in 1851. (fn. 585) A few of the early 20th-century houses at Five Acres were on the Mitcheldean road where a school built in 1914 (fn. 586) was the oldest part of a large college campus in 1992. (fn. 587) The first council houses in the area, 16 built between Berry Hill and Five Acres in 1923, formed the Coverham estate, (fn. 588) which was enlarged in the 1930s and 1950s. Other council estates were developed there after the Second World War, including one north of the Rising Sun in the 1960s, and private building continued during that period. (fn. 589)
Early settlement on the hillside at Joyford, north-east of Berry Hill, included by 1758 several cottages on Crown land (fn. 590) overlooking buildings belonging to English Bicknor and a detached part of Newland. (fn. 591) In 1782 there were 40 cottages within the Forest at Joyford, including 12 up the hill (fn. 592) in the area known in 1804 as the Lonk. (fn. 593) On the lower part of the hill a beerhouse, later called the Dog and Muffler, opened before 1838. (fn. 594) In 1851 there were eight houses to the east in Ninewells bottom, then known as the Mire. (fn. 595)
North of Berry Hill, cottages had appeared within the Forest at Short Standing, near a farmstead belonging to English Bicknor, by 1758 (fn. 596) and there were 12 there in 1782. (fn. 597) Northwest of Short Standing at Hillersland, on the road from Coleford to Goodrich (Herefs.), several cottages were recorded from 1565 on a green, (fn. 598) where an inn or beerhouse called the Cock in 1748 (fn. 599) was renamed the Rock in the mid 19th century. (fn. 600) There were a few cottages strung out along the road in 1787 (fn. 601) and their number had increased to 17 by 1834. (fn. 602) Further north at Redinhorne, near Symonds Yat rock, there was a cottage on the road in 1608. (fn. 603) Three cottages were recorded there in 1792 (fn. 604) and the few houses there in 1992 included a wooden bungalow used as the Symonds Yat post office. (fn. 605)
To the east of Joyford at Edge end two cottages or cabins stood apart in 1787 on encroachments on Crown land, high up on a hillside overlooking Hoarthorns Farm (in the detached part of Newland). (fn. 606) By 1834 two small groups of cottages had formed on those encroachments, (fn. 607) and in 1859 they contained 12 dwellings. (fn. 608) Both groups were enlarged by later building. The group to the north-east, where an iron chapel was erected in 1894, (fn. 609) was extended in the early 20th century by the building of several houses facing the Mitcheldean road to the south-east, (fn. 610) and by 1992 a few bungalows filled the north side of the road between the two groups of cottages. To the south-west, in the area around the junction of the roads from Monmouth and Coleford to Mitcheldean, four pairs of council houses were built in 1923 and several council houses and bungalows added in 1971. (fn. 611) Further north the small hamlet of Carterspiece, straddling the boundary between the Forest and English Bicknor, included a cottage on Crown land in 1758. (fn. 612)
The settlement of Worrall hill, mainly of 20th-century growth, comprised four cottages high on the hillside above Lydbrook in 1782. (fn. 613) A few more houses were built in the 19th century and a small nonconformist chapel in 1884. (fn. 614) In 1923 West Dean rural district council built 20 houses there, (fn. 615) most of them by the Coleford- Mitcheldean road where there was infilling with new houses in the mid 1960s. Most building in the hamlet in the later 20th century took place down the hill to the north-east where several roads were formed for new estates of council and private houses and bungalows. (fn. 616)
The central areas of the Forest remained sparsely populated during the 19th and 20th centuries, with few dwellings apart from the Speech House at Kensley, beside the main Cinderford-Coleford road, and the other Crown lodges. (fn. 617) In the mid 19th century some mines, quarries, and other industrial sites had one or two small cottages nearby. (fn. 618) At Lightmoor colliery there was a row of four cottages in 1856 (fn. 619) and, among other large collieries, Crump Meadow had two houses in 1874 (fn. 620) and Trafalgar had several, including one for its manager, in 1878. (fn. 621)
Settlement at Moseley green, north-east of Parkend between the roads to Blakeney and Yorkley, comprised one dwelling on an encroachment in 1787 (fn. 622) and two cottages in 1834. (fn. 623) In 1859 the hamlet also included a row of three cottages owned by the main Parkend colliery company. (fn. 624) Later buildings were a nonconformist chapel converted as two dwellings at the turn of the century and one to the north occupied by the Rising Sun beerhouse in the late 1870s. (fn. 625) Further north a row of miners' cottages, known as the Barracks, was built on the road from Parkend to Blakeney in the late 1840s. (fn. 626) The cottages, numbering 20 in five identical blocks, were leased to local colliery owners by the Crown, (fn. 627) which in 1908 erected a row of four cottages to the west and in 1910 and 1911 rebuilt the original dwellings as four ranges containing 16 cottages. (fn. 628) Scattered houses nearby include one on the Blakeney road created by enlarging the remains of a chapel built in 1907. (fn. 629)
A few houses were built at Cannop in the valley south-west of the Speech House. The earliest, a pair of mid 19th-century cottages at chemical works (fn. 630) north of the Littledean-Coleford road and west of Cannop brook, were occupied in 1859 as four dwellings (fn. 631) and were later remodelled. They were demolished in 1966. (fn. 632) Nearby two or three cottages were built at the crossroads formed in 1903 on the completion of the Lydbrook-Lydney road, (fn. 633) and in 1913 the Crown built three pairs of cottages on the Lydbrook road for employees at wood distillation works which it then established at Cannop. (fn. 634) Further along the Lydbrook road, at the bottom of Wimberry Slade, the Crown built five pairs of cottages in 1907 and 1911 for workers at Cannop colliery. (fn. 635)
South of the Speech House, on the Moseley Green road, a building known as Old Dean Hall was built by the Crown for a forestry school in 1915 (fn. 636) and was part of a special school in 1992. East of the Speech House, on the Littledean road near Cinderford, a hospital was opened in 1923. (fn. 637)
The hamlet of Brierley, sometimes called Brierley Hill, (fn. 638) on the main Coleford road southwest of Nailbridge, grew in the mid 19th century. The earliest cottages, built between 1787 and 1834, were one at a quarry on the north side of the road and three on a steep hillside to the north-east. (fn. 639) The cottage by the road (fn. 640) had become an inn under the sign of the Swan by 1859 (fn. 641) and a house to the east is dated 1864. More cottages appeared on the hillside to the north-east in the mid 19th century (fn. 642) and a small chapel opened in the hamlet in 1884. (fn. 643) The hamlet expanded westwards in the early 20th century with the building of houses and bungalows, some of timber, on the north side of the Coleford road. (fn. 644) At the west end three pairs of council houses were built in 1931. (fn. 645)
The settlement of Steam mills, on the Littledean road between Nailbridge and Cinderford, came into being in the 1840s when Timothy Bennett built a steam-powered corn mill west of the road (fn. 646) near a mine called Old Engine. (fn. 647) In 1856 there were seven cottages to the north and an inn or beerhouse called the Old Engine to the south. (fn. 648) By 1878 the buildings north of the mill included a row of ten cottages and new premises for the Old Engine. (fn. 649) The collection of cottages at New Town, south of Steam Mills towards Broadmoor, was formed between 1856 and 1878, (fn. 650) and Steam Mills acquired a nonconformist chapel and a school in the early 1880s. (fn. 651)
One of the earliest buildings put up on the royal demesne was used by the Forest's attachment (or speech) court. Recorded from 1338, the courthouse stood at Kensley, (fn. 652) beside the Cinderford-Coleford road on the eastern edge of the Cannop valley, and was at or very close to the site of its late 17th-century successor, the Speech House. (fn. 653) The court met at Kensley in 1566 and 1608, (fn. 654) but the courthouse had evidently been demolished or fallen into disrepair by 1623 when a house at Cannop, built c. 1619 by lessees of the Crown's ironworks, was used by the court (fn. 655) and was called the new speech house. (fn. 656) In 1628 the house at Cannop was said to be the only building suitable for Forest business, but the Forest officers were then being prevented from using it, (fn. 657) perhaps a consequence of the Crown's recent alienation of an estate based on Cannop; (fn. 658) in 1637 the attachment court met at Littledean. (fn. 659)
In the 1670s when the royal demesne was divided into six walks a keeper's lodge was provided for each. (fn. 660) For King's (later Speech House) walk a new lodge and courthouse, at first called the King's Lodge but later the Speech House, (fn. 661) was built at Kensley c. 1670. (fn. 662) It was said to have been very poorly constructed, (fn. 663) and it was altered and improved later: the date 1676 was placed above its side door and the date 1680 on its main front, (fn. 664) and further work was needed after it was severely damaged by rioters at the Revolution of 1688. (fn. 665) The Speech House was a keeper's lodge until shortly before 1841, (fn. 666) by which year it was leased as an inn; (fn. 667) it remained, however, the meeting place of the attachment court (usually by then called the verderers' court). (fn. 668) By the late 19th century the Speech House was a hotel frequented by tourists (fn. 669) and it was enlarged to provide additional accommodation c. 1882. (fn. 670) It was still a hotel in 1994, when it was leased by Forte Ltd. from the Forestry Commission. The late 17th-century building, which faces westwards over the Cannop valley, is a plain block of two storeys and attics and is built of the local sandstone with, internally, massive oak beams. Its south end contains two principal rooms, the upper one described as a dining room in 1854 and the lower one, which has a dais against the south wall, used as the courtroom. (fn. 671) The block added c. 1882 was on the east side of the building and gave the Speech House a new main front to the Cinderford-Coleford road; designed by George Pearson of Ross-on-Wye (Herefs.), (fn. 672) it matched the earlier block in style and stonework. (fn. 673) Internal restoration in 1956 included the renewal of the roof beams in the courtroom, (fn. 674) which in 1994 was the hotel dining room but also used for the meetings of the Forest's verderers.
Sites for lodges in the other five walks were being chosen in 1675. (fn. 675) By 1677 lodges for the walks called Worcester, Danby, and Latimer had been built under the direction of the marquess of Worcester, constable of St. Briavels and warden of the Forest, and for York walk a house at Parkend, formerly used by lessees of ironworks there, had been bought; for Herbert walk the purchase of another conveniently sited house was in hand. (fn. 676) Each of the lodges, including the Speech House, was assigned an inclosure of c. 30 a., which its keeper farmed, (fn. 677) and by the mid 18th century the outbuildings at the lodges included cattle pounds and kennels for hounds. (fn. 678) York Lodge ceased to house a keeper c. 1840, (fn. 679) and from 1859 or earlier was leased as a residence to Parkend industrialists, (fn. 680) and Latimer Lodge and its land were leased as a smallholding from 1882. (fn. 681) Worcester, Danby, and Herbert lodges were occupied by keepers until 1914 or later. (fn. 682) All five were sold by the Forestry Commission in the late 20th century. (fn. 683)
Sites commanding wide views (fn. 684) were chosen for the lodges, so that the keepers could watch for fires, timber stealing, or other damage to the plantations. Worcester Lodge is on high ground on the west side of the Cannop valley, Danby Lodge at the summit of a high ridge on the west side of the Blackpool brook valley, and Herbert Lodge faces into the Forest from the south side of Ruardean hill. Latimer Lodge, where a new lodge built on a different but nearby site between 1731 and 1735 replaced the original, (fn. 685) stands high on Littledean hill at the north-east rim of the Forest. York Lodge, on a hillside west of Parkend village, is rather less prominently sited. Worcester Lodge is dated 1675, though it was repaired after 1688 when, with the Speech House and York Lodge, it was badly damaged by the rioters. (fn. 686) The late 17th-century stone range, similar to a medium-sized farmhouse of the period, has external stacks at each end and a moulded stone doorway in the centre of the eastfront. In the 19th century low additions were made at each end, and in 1911 a twingabled extension, incorporating an existing single-storeyed back kitchen, was made on the west. (fn. 687) Danby Lodge, probably built on a plan similar to Worcester Lodge, was remodelled and extended in the 19th century, York Lodge was rebuilt in the 19th century and a new room added at its north end in 1914, (fn. 688) and Herbert Lodge was rebuilt or remodelled in the 19th century and again much altered in the late 20th. At Latimer Lodge the building of the early 1730s is a long, symmetrical range with a hipped roof and dormered attics; it was refitted internally in 1906 (fn. 689) and later in the 20th century, and the house was converted as four flats c. 1990. The keepers' inclosures of pasture land adjoining the six lodges were largely intact in 1994, that at Worcester Lodge still in Forestry Commission ownership and used as a holiday campsite.
In the early 19th century, when the royal demesne of the Forest was replanted, 24 small lodges were established to house woodmen to guard and maintain the new inclosures. (fn. 690) For Shutcastle Inclosure, near Ellwood, a cottage on an old encroachment was bought, and the lodge for Oakenhill Inclosure, near Yorkley, was apparently a cottage that had housed a watchman (fn. 691) appointed by the Forest administration c. 1780. (fn. 692) The other lodges were new buildings put up between 1806 and 1815, (fn. 693) often, like those at Lea Bailey, Serridge, Barnhill, Staple Edge, and Chestnuts, at high and isolated sites in the middle of the inclosures. (fn. 694) The small two-storeyed cottages, built of local stone, were identified by an inscription on a window lintel, recording the name, date, and acreage of the inclosure and, usually, the name of the Crown's surveyor general of woods, Lord Glenbervie. (fn. 695) The staff of woodmen employed in the Forest was reduced during the 19th century, and by 1897 nine of the cottages were no longer occupied for their original purpose, some being let to forestry workers. (fn. 696) During the 20th century several of the cottages were demolished or abandoned to decay, while others, mainly those at the more accessible sites, were sold by the Forestry Commission in the 1960s and early 1970s. (fn. 697)