The History and Heritage of the Forest of Dean

The Forest of Dean is one of the most loved beauty spots in the UK. As well as the stunning natural beauty of the ancient forest, this is an area that has a long industrial heritage, mainly mining for the precious resources buried deep in the earth. Although these old industries have now been replaced with more modern ones, such as this office cleaning Forest of Dean based company, there are still many places that you can go to for an insight into the history of the region and its many stories and legends too…

Clearwell Caves – These caves have been used for mining in the forest since the iron age, when tools and weapons were fashioned from the ore taken here. It is a fascinating place to explore the underground forest, and as well as getting familiar with the miners of the past, you may also be lucky enough to spot some of the bats that make their homes in the caverns.

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Puzzle wood – This part of the woodland is a great place to go if you want to feel as if you are stepping into an enchanted woodland. It has been used as a filming location for many films and television shows due to its magical feel and mossy trees, and cavernous areas. It is said to be this part of the forest that inspired Tolkien to write The Hobbit, and when you visit here it is very easy to see why! There are also animals on the site that you can see before you head off into the beautiful and unusual woodland to explore.

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The Dean Heritage Centre – This is the place to go to learn all about the history of this beautiful place. Visit a hill fort that dates back to the iron age, learn about the lives of the local people of yesteryear who struggled to make ends meet, and the miners who risked their lives daily working in the mines deep beneath the forest. Here you can also learn about the flora and fauna in this special area and for the kids there is even a special Gruffalo trail in the woodland.

Beechenhurst – The sculpture trail at beautiful Beechenhurst is designed with a celebration of both the nature of the area and the historic local industries of the area in mind. Sculptures like Threshold, which sits next to a pond in the forest is inspired by the mining history, and the moulds were taken directly from Clearwell caves. Visitors can walk through the sculpture and experience it from within. Another popular sculpture is called cathedral – a huge stained-glass window hanging from the trees brings to life the worship of nature and the image of the forest as a vast cathedral, celebrating the beauty and abundance of the forest.


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