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Coleford, Gloucestershire

Historical Description

Coleford, a small market and mining town and an ecclesiastical parish in the parish of Newland, Gloucestershire. The town stands in Dean Forest, near Offa's Dyke and the river Wye, 5 miles ESE of Monmouth, and 9 W of Newnham. It has a station on the Wye Valley and Coleford branch of the G.W.R., and on the Severn and Wye and Severn Bridge-railway. It consists chiefly of four main streets, is governed by a local board of 9 members, and is a seat of petty sessions. It has a head post office and a town-hall, the basement of which is used as a market-house. A market is held on Friday, and a cattle market on the third Tuesday in each month, and a fair on 20 June. There is a grammar school, founded in 1626, and a cemetery. Two weekly newspapers are published. The ecclesiastical parish was constituted in 1872. Population, 4199. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Gloucester and Bristol; net value, £176 with residence. Patron, the Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol. The church was erected in 1880; only the tower of the former church still remains. There are Congregational, Baptist, and Wesleyan chapels. In the district are remains of ancient ironworks, vast caverns scooped out, in which Roman relics have been found, and tools of Anglo-Norman date are frequently found in pits at a considerable depth.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyGloucestershire 
Civil parishNewland 
HundredSt. Briavells 
Poor Law unionMonmouth 
Registration districtMonmouth1894 - 1937

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Church Records

The register of baptisms dates from the year 1819: all baptisms, marriages and burials previous to this date are included in the registers of Newland.

The Gloucestershire Parish Registers are available online at Ancestry, in association with Gloucestershire Archives.


Church of England

Chapel of Ease, Scowles

The chapel of ease at Scowles will seat 80 people.

Mission church of the Good Shepherd, Lane Ends

The mission church of the Good Shepherd, at Lane Ends, affords 200 sittings.

St. John, Bowen's Hill

The present church of St. John, at Bowen's Hill, erected from designs by Mr. F. S. Waller, architect, at a cost of £6,655, and consecrated May, 1880, is a building of stone, in the Early English style, consisting of apsidal chancel, nave, transepts, vestries, north porch and a tower on the south-west: there are 450 sittings.

St. John (old)

The former church of St. John was an octagonal building, erected in 1821 in place of the still earlier chapel of ease, but only the tower, containing a clock and one bell, now remains.


Baptist Chapel, Newland Street

The Baptist chapel, in Newland street, erected in 1858, at a cost of £3,000, will seat 800 persons.


Congregational Chapel

The Congregational chapel, erected in 1842, has 440 sittings.


Primitive Methodist Chapel, Mile End

The Primitive Methodist chapel at Mile End, erected in 1904, will seat 100 persons.

Wesleyan Methodist Chapel

The Wesleyan Methodist chapel, erected in 1851, has 120 sittings.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Coleford from the following:

Land and Property

The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Gloucestershire is available to browse.


Online maps of Coleford are available from a number of sites:

Newspapers and Periodicals

The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following newspapers covering Gloucestershire online:

Villages, Hamlets, &c

Berry Hill

Visitations Heraldic

The Visitation of the county of Gloucester, 1623 is available on the Heraldry page.

DistrictForest of Dean
RegionSouth West
Postal districtGL16
Post TownColeford