Coleford is actively taking part in Heritage Open Days with The Coleford Area Partnership providing events to celebrate the towns marked long history. These events can be found by visiting HOD Heritage Apps/Forest of Dean On visiting this site, you will see the Coleford Heritage App, being free to download, this app is a brilliant way to see the old town through the magic of technology.
During the autumn the Forest of Dean comes into its own with a spectacular display of the autumn leaves changing colour. Many of the footpaths around Coleford take you past historical sites that give amazing views. See Coleford Welcomes Walkers.
Coleford has existed since before the Middle Ages with the production of Iron ore still evident locally. Part of the 17th Century White Hart Inn is the oldest building in town.
The central feature of Coleford is the Grade II Clock tower. It is all that remains of the Chapel of Ease which was built c1489, rebuilt in 1820 and demolished in 1882. The Clock tower features a war memorial and down the steps sits a stone trough with an inscription to Queen Victoria’s 60 years of reign.
In 1798, work began on Whitecliff Ironworks to the south-western edge of Coleford. In 1809 David Mushet, a noted Scottish metallurgist, was employed to increase productivity and a legend began with his youngest son Robert’s work. This furnace is the only remaining remanence of its type in Southern England, it is a Forest of Dean Heritage Site and a Scheduled Monument.
In St. John Street, where the tram line crossed, having been built in 1812 to link the town with mines throughout the Forest of Dean with the River Wye at Redbrook and Monmouth, there is a homage of paving depicting the old tram route, following its demise in the late 1870s.
By the main car park, the GWR Goods Shed, built in 1875 is all that reminds us of the two railway lines that fed into Coleford. One built by Severn & Wye Valley the other by Great Western Railway. The GWR shed is now a museum and well worth a visit.
Angus Buchanan was born in Coleford in 1894 and was awarded the Military Cross on 7th January 1916, the Victoria Cross on 5th April 1916, being decorated by King George V in Bristol on 8th November 1917. In honour of his bravery funds were raised and at his bequest a play area was built for the local children and named in his honour. He lays to rest in the Cemetery next to the Angus Buchanan Recreational Park which is managed by a trust in his name.
Coleford is home to Suntory and is the sole production facility for Ribena and Lucozade, with SPP Pumps Ltd, Britain’s leading pump manufacturer having its main UK manufacturing site in Coleford.
For those interested in an in-depth overview of Coleford’s history we recommend a visit to Forest of Dean History Society.