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  2. About the Forest of Dean
  3. Abenhall, Gloucestershire
  4. Adits (definition)
  5. Anchor Inn, Lydbrook
  6. Ariconium, Herefordshire
  7. Arthur and Edward Colliery
  8. Bigsweir, Gloucestershire
  9. Bishopswood, Herefordshireshire
  10. Bixslade (Bicslade)
  11. Blakeney, Gloucestershire
  12. Bloomery (definition)
  13. Bradley House
  14. Brain, Cornelius
  15. Brain, Sir Francis
  16. Bream, Gloucestershire
  17. Bullo Pill, Gloucestershire
  18. Cannop Colliery
  19. Cinderford, Gloucestershire
  20. Clearwell, Gloucestershire
  21. Coalway, Gloucestershire
  22. Coleford, Gloucestershire
  23. Crawshay, Henry
  24. Danby Lodge
  25. Darkhill Brick, Colliery + Ironworks
  26. Dates in the Forest of Dean
  27. Dean Forest (Mines) Act 1838
  28. Dean Forest Railway
  29. Dean Forest (Reafforestation)
    Act 1668
  30. The Dean Forest Riots
  31. Dean Hall, Littledean
  32. Dean Heritage Centre
  33. Dean Road
  34. Delves (definition)
  35. Drew, Catherine
  36. Drifts (definition)
  37. Drybrook, Gloucestershire
  38. Eastern United Colliery
  39. Edge Hills Quarry
  40. Elwood, Gloucestershire
  41. Encloosure Act (1808)
  42. Euroclydon House
  43. Fairplay Iron Mine
  44. Favourite Free Mine
  45. Findall Iron Mine
  46. Flaxley, Gloucestershire
  47. Forest Of Dean Central Railway
  48. Free Miners
  49. Gale (definition)
  50. Gaveller (definition)
  51. Gunns Mill
  52. Green Bottom, Gloucestershire
  53. The Haie (house)
  54. Haie Hill Tunnel
  55. Harvey, F. W.
  56. The Hayes, Blakeney
  57. Hope Mansell, Herefordshire
  58. Hopewell Engine Colliery
  59. Horlick, James and William
  60. Iron Mine Level, Lydbrook
  61. Kensley Lodge
  62. Kings Lodge
  63. Littledean, Gloucestershire
  64. Lower Redbrook, Gloucestershire
  65. Lydbrook, Gloucestershire
  66. Lydney, Gloucestershire
  67. Mine Train Quarry
  68. Mitcheldean, Gloucestershire
  69. Monument Mine
  70. Mushet, David
  71. Mushet, Robert
  72. Newland, Gloucestershire
  73. New Mills
  74. Newnham, Gloucestershire
  75. Norchard Colliery
  76. North United Mine
  77. Oaklands Court
  78. Oaklands Park
  79. Offas Dyke
  80. Old Bow Iron Mine
  81. Old Ham Iron Mine
  82. Parkend, Gloucestershire
  83. Perserverance Iron Mine
  84. Pill (definition)
  85. Pillowell, Gloucestershire
  86. Point Quarry
  87. Princess Royal Colliery
  88. Protheroe, Edward
  89. Pubs of the Forest of Dean
  90. Purton, Gloucestershire
  91. Redbrook, Gloucestershire
  92. Ruardean, Gloucestershire
  93. Ruardean Hill, Gloucestershire
  94. Ruardean Woodside, Gloucestershire
  95. Scowles (definition)
  96. Siddon, Sarah
  97. Severn and Wye Railway
  98. Severn and Wye Tramway
  99. Severn Railway Bridge
  100. Severn Road Bridge
  101. Shakemantle Iron Mine
  102. Sling, Gloucestershire
  103. Soudley, Gloucestershire
  104. South Wales Railway
  105. Speculation Colliery
  106. Speech House
  107. Speech House Hill Colliery
  108. St Briavels Castle
  109. St Briavels, May-pole
  110. Staple Edge Lodge
  111. Strip-and at-it Colliery
  112. Symonds Yat
  113. Teague, James
  114. Teague, Moses
  115. Trafalgar Colliery
  116. Tramroad
  117. Trow
  118. True Blue Colliery
  119. Union Colliery
  120. Upper and Middle Forge
  121. Upper Lydbrook Station
  122. Upper Mill, Edge Hills
  123. Upper Redbrook
  124. Verderer (definition)
  125. Verderers' Court
  126. Welshbury Hill Fort
  127. Westbury Brook Iron Mine
  128. Whitecliff Furnace
  129. Whitecliff House
  130. Whitecliff Quarry
  131. Whitecroft
  132. Whitecross Manor
  133. Wigpool, Gloucestershire
  134. Wintour, Sir John
  135. Woodside Colliery, Ruardean
  136. Worcester Walk
  137. Yat (definition)
  138. Yorkley Court
St Briavels, Forest of Dean

Published in the Illustrated London News, May 5, 1849.

May-Pole at St. Briavels, in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire

Harde is his harte that lovith nought
In May, whan al this mirth is wrought; Whan he may on these branches here
The small birds singing clere,
Ther blisfull sweet song pitious;
And in this season delitious,
When Love affirmith alle things.
CHAUCER'S Romant of the Rose.

So completely are objects connected with old English customs being removed, in consequence of our rapid improvement and change of habits, that we take the opportunity of illustrating one of the few remaining May-poles - that in the village of St. Briavels, in the picturesque Forest of Dean, in Gloucestershire.

There are few places in England more interesting to the antiquary and lover of fine scenery than the Forest of Dean. This Castle, in which the accompanying sketch was taken, is situated on a lofty eminence which overlooks the valley of the Wye. The view is very beautiful, and is terminated by the distant Welsh mountains. The Castle is of emmense strength, and was, until lately, used as a prison and court connected with some ancient privileges held by the foresters of Dean. The church, in front of the Castle, contains specimens of early Norman architecture; and the old May-pole is still standing in the village at Clearwell Green.

A short distance from St Briavels is a simple cross, of early date; indeed, the Forest of Dean abounds in Roman remains, ancient and most curious churches, mural monuments, crosses, &c. In some of the villages the stocks and whipping-posts may still be seen. The forest coal and iron districts are also of much interest.

In the second edition of Mr Cliffe's excellent "Book of South Wales" we find the following attractive details of this district, which our tourist considers to have been strangely overlooked by writers on the Wye:-

"Those who visit the Buckstone, and possess curiosity or leisure, must feel moved by an impulse to penetrate the vast region of solemn woods which stretches before them. A large forest is always invested with an air of mystery - sublimity. You may lose yourself in it. You may meet with some adventure. Wild animals or birds that shun the haunts of man are sure to cross your path. How fresh and soothing are the cool green woods! How deep the solitude! - We recommend tourists to proceed through the town of Coleford to the Speech House, distant about 8 1/2 miles from Monmouth; and to walk from thence - the path often wet and miry - to the "White Oak" a monarch towering over subject woods. The scenery about Park-end, and along the road through Lydney by Bream, is also exceedingly beautiful; besides the sylvan attractions, superb views are sometimer obtained of the Vale of the Severn. The largest oak in the forest (41 feet in girth) is at Newland, by which village - there is afine old church - strangers might return to Monmouth. - There is a road, chiefly along high ground, near the western edge of the forest from Monmouth to Chepstow, through Clearwell, St Briavel's, and Tidenham Chase. St Briavel's Castle - an interesting ruin- was built by Milo Fitzwalter (temp. Henry I) to curb the incursions of the Welsh. About a century afterwards it reverted to the Crown by forfeiture. - Offa's Dyke terminates at Beachley, and may be traced at a point where it crosses the road at Buttington Tump."

"This has always been a famous forest. In the middle ages it afforded a safe refuge to robbers, who used often to go afloat and plunder vessels on the Severn. The commanders of the Spanish Armada had orders 'not to leave a tree standing in it, if,' says Evelyn, 'they should not be able to subdue our nation.' Early in the reign of Charles I. the forest contained 43,000 acres; 14,000 of which were woodland; but the devastations committed were so great, that in 1667 only 200 large oak and beech trees were standing. 'To repair these mischiefs, 11,000 acres were immediately enclosed, planted, and carefully guarded,' and large additions have since been made. The plantations, during the last twenty years, in this magnificent nursery of navy timber (the quality of the oaks is the finest in England) have made very great progress. The forest is divided into 'walks,' and placed under the care of officers and keepers. Iron-mines were opened here by the Romans; and there are extensive and remarkable workings partly attributed to that people, near Coleford, Bream, and Littledean. These wild, deserted scowles (that is their local name) can be penetrated for considerable distances. The mineral treasures of the forest - coal; and iron - are great; and foresters retain peculiar rights."