Cinderford was originally a hamlet centred around St. John’s Church, until the mid 1800s when coal mining brought prosperity to the area and the town developed.
Speech House arrived at its name when it was used as the administrative centre for the Forest of Dean. People could voice their opinions or make a speech in the Verderer’s court.
In 1923 the Foxes Bridge Colliery Company Ltd complained to their landlords, The Crown, when their rent increased from £4 to £21.
Despite the Cinderford branch of the railway being open for 150 years, it only carried the general public from 1901 until 1945.
There are an estimated 20 million trees in the Royal Forest of Dean which holds the title of ‘Queen of all Forests’.
The Cinderford Band, formed in 1879, came 4th in the first ever National Contest at Crystal Palace, London in 1900. Locals were amazed that they even got there, with the horrendous transport difficulties that existed at the time.
Cinderford born radio presenter Sir Jimmy Young served first in the RAF, then became famous as a vocal artist recording ‘Unchained Melody’ and ‘The Man From Laramie’, (which were both number 1 hits) before becoming the presenter of BBC Radio 2s ‘JY Prog’ for nearly 30 years.
Chart topping local rock band EMF were signed in 1990 to EMI/Parlophone after a mere four concerts, without even supplying a demo tape.
The nearby Littledean Gaol, is an imposing structure designed by the London architect William Blackburn using local red sandstone. It was one of four identical prisons built by Sir George Onesiphorus Paul in 1791 and is the best preserved.