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Quick links to :-     Lydney and the South West     Coleford and the North West
Cinderford and the North East     Blakeney and the South East

Underground at the first Colliery

A conducted tour of a couple of Free Mines, organised by Gwent Caving Club. Ths is the first colliery.

Underground at the second Colliery

A conducted tour of the second Free Mine, organised by Gwent Caving Club

Lydney and the South West

Quick links to :-     Lydney and the South West     Coleford and the North West
    Cinderford and the North East     Blakeney and the South Eastt

The Dean Forest Railway to Parkend - September 2018

My first round trip to Parkend since it re-opened

The Dean Forest Railway - Norchard to Lydney Junction

Previous visits to the Dean Forest Railway

Lydney Harbour - ST 6400 0150

Norchard to Parkend

Noxon Park ironmines, Bream

Noxon Park mine - SO 5920 0605

A whole host of opencast and underground iron mines are hidden in Noxon Park, near Bream. They date from the mid-1800s and are a weird jumble of scowles, quarries, pits and mines. The Gwent Caving Club visited a few of them, one of which had the signs of a recognisable tramway.

Noxon Park mine - SO 5922 0601

Other Mines and Workings in Noxon Park

The Wye Valley

The Wye Valley line to Tintern

Lancaut - ST 5340 9655

North of Tintern

Coleford and the North West

Quick links to :-     Lydney and the South West     Coleford and the North West
    Cinderford and the North East     Blakeney and the South Eastt

New Ham Iron Mine, Clearwell - SO 5785 0900


In memory of Steve Davies, an expert photographer and camera enthusiast, who took far better photos than me. Sadly Steve suffered a tragic accident and is no longer with us to explore mines and quarries.

Union Pit, Bixslade - SO 6025 1000

Now Monument Colliery, also known as Hainers Bailey Colliery was opened in the 1980s with a 1'8" gauge tramway. This is the site of the 1902 accident when four men died and three others were trapped for five days.

Bixslade Low Level - SO 6017 1005

Also known as Bixslade Deep Level, it was opened before 1812 but is shown as an old level on the 1877 map.

Bixslade High Level - SO 5995 1050
Miles Level - SO 6070 0995

Bixslade Tramroad and Quarries - SO 5975 1070
Mine Train Quarry and iron mine - SO 6016 1010

Phoenix Colliery, Bixslade - SO 6048 1091

Phoenix Colliery, earlier Newroad Coal Level No 2, is now connected to Hopewell Colliery, the lower exit being originally Newroad Coal Level No 1. It may have opened as early as 1821 but it first shows up on the 1901 map. It became Phoenix Colliery when it reopened (again) in 1976.

Hopewell Colliery

The tourist side of the mine - SO 6030 1140

Hopewell Colliery appears to have opened in 1823 using the furnace adit, now the exit for the underground tours. It was the site of Cannop Foundry, Newroad Level No 1, Vallets Level and opposite the Foundry Level. Underground tours started in 1997 along with the opening of a small museum and a very good cafe. The entrance to the tourist part of the mine is by a modern purpose-built adit and well worth a visit.

The working side of the mine - SO 6025 1140

During the Winter months, coal is still mined from the working adit, depending on demand. Hopewell is connected with Phoenix underground and has a second exit not far from the tourist exit.

The rest of the NorthWest

Howlerslade Tramroad - SO 6040 1145

Howlerslade Tramroad ran up the Howlerslade Valley from Speech House Road Station to Oak Quarry, passing Cannop Foundry, Newroad Level, Vallets Level, Vallets Deep Coalpit, and Beech Quarry.

Wimberry Slade and Cannop - SO 6030 1220

New Thatch Colliery and a small level - SO 6011 1311

This little level is only shown on the 1960 OS map as a 'disused drift'.

Speedwell Collieries - SO 5845 1270

A whole host of shafts and levels between Five Acres and Edge End. They were working prior to 1880, but were frequently shown as 'disused' on maps up to the 1960s.

Mierystock - SO 6150 1470

Small collieries around Bracelands - SO 5600 1360

Symonds Yat smelting works below New Weir Forge - SO 5585 1555

Cinderford and the North East

Quick links to :-     Lydney and the South West     Coleford and the North West
    Cinderford and the North East     Blakeney and the South Eastt

Brookall Ditches - SO 6188 0888

New Fancy Colliery - SO 6275 0960

New Fancy colliery was opened by Edward Protheroe in 1827, as part of the Park End Coal Company. By 1860 it was owned by Sully & Company and in 1885 was sold to the Parkend & New Fancy Collieries Company. It closed in 1944.

In 2013 the No 2 shaft was subsiding so it needed re-capping. While doing it, some machinery was found over the old shaft which turns out to be parts of a pumping system. These are the angle bobs of a horizontal shaft that could be driven by either a horizontal or rotary engine. The system was built by T Bennett & Co, Pontypool Foundry.

Howbeach Colliery - SO 6403 0863

Morses Level and Howbeach Quarry - SO 6400 0880

Quidchurch Colliery - SO 6490 1015

Trafalgar Colliery and Brain's tramroad - SO 6250 1445

Lea Bailey Light Railway, Near Drybrook - SO 6440 1955

Opened in 1906, Lea Bailey was a goldmine but very little gold was found. It was extended into Wigpool Iron Mine and the iron proved more valuable. During WW2 shells were stored in the nearby Hawthorns (Euroclydon) tunnel, connected by a 2ft gauge line. A tourist line was set up in 1995 but abandoned by 2010. Since 2012 a small group of volunteers are trying to revive the idea.

Blakeney and the South East

Quick links to :-     Lydney and the South West     Coleford and the North West
    Cinderford and the North East     Blakeney and the South Eastt

Independent Coal Pit No 6 - SO 6322 0893

Moseley Green New Engine Colliery - SO 6313 0826

Blackpool Bridge - SO 6520 0865

Danby Lodge - SO 6430 0819
Bailey Hill - SO 6410 0775

Bullo Pill - SO 6900 0990

Great Western Ironworks and the Haie Hill tunnel, Soudley - SO 6654 1013

Acknowledgments, sources and further reading.

Thanks for addition information and photos to :- Ian Castledine, John Wood, Hopewell Colliery, Phil Conway-Jones (, Mark Turner (Onecall Cabs), John Wood

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