New Ham Ironmine
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The Forest of Dean - North West
Collieries, iron mines, railways and tramroads around Coleford
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The Transport and Industries of the Forest of Dean and South-Western England

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Berry Hill

Quick links to :-     Berry Hill     Bixslade     Clearwell     Hopewell
    Mierystock to Lydbrook     Symonds Yat     Wimberry and Cannop
    Lydney and the South West     Blakeney and the South East     Cinderford and the North East

Small collieries around Bracelands - SO 5600 1360


Quick links to :-     Berry Hill     Bixslade     Clearwell     Hopewell
    Mierystock to Lydbrook     Symonds Yat     Wimberry and Cannop
    Lydney and the South West     Blakeney and the South East     Cinderford and the North East

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.

Bixslade Collieries

Union Colliery, Bixslade - SO 6029 1000
Miles Level, Bixslade - SO 6070 0995

Union Colliery was opened before 1841, coal mining having begun in Bixslade around 1809. The shaft connected to Miles Level for ventilation about halfway down. On 4th September 1902 disaster struck when the workings were flooded by a sudden ingress of water. After five days of pumping, rescuers found four men drowned and three others alive. It had closed and the site cleared by 1920 according to the OS map. 'Miles Level' was next to the Stoneworks and was dug in c1810 for 750 yards, a surprising distance at the time. It was latterly used as a water supply for the Stonworks.

Monument Colliery, Bixslade - SO 6035 0995

Monument Colliery, also known as Hainers Bailey Colliery, was opened in the 1980s close to the site of Union Pit It has a 1'8" gauge tramway and in 2022 is one of the few working collieries in the Forest.

Bixslade Deep Level - SO 6017 1005

Bixslade Deep Level or Low Level was opened before 1812 but is shown as an old level on the 1877 map. This was probably the original mine of Mushett and Halford, opened in 1809. The now stolen keystone at the level entrance was dated 1810.

Bixslade Land Level - SO 5995 1050

Bixslade Land Level or High Level was dated 1826 on its now stolen keystone. It was originally a quite short level of about 125 yards but later extended a considerable distance. It had a ventilation furnace and chimney at the entrance. It was owned by Robert Mushet and was disused by 1878. The shafts ventilated the Deep Level and one is 84 ft deep. There are modern re-workings from the 1970s in the area.

Other Mines in Bixslade

Bixslade Tramroad and Quarries

Bixslade Tramroad - SO 5960 1100 to SO 6083 1002

The Bixslade Tramroad ran from a loading wharf on the Lydney to Cinderford railway, past the stone works at Cannop Pond and on to the quarries at the head of the valley. It opened in 1812 and connected directly to the Severn and Wye Tramroad. When the S&W became a railway in 1874, the tramroad used the wharf instead. It had ceased traffic by 1949 when it was damaged beyond repair by lorry traffic.

Bixslade Quarries - SO 5960 1095

Quarrying at Bixhead dates back to the 14th century and one of the quarries is still being worked, the others closed in the 1960s. Smaller quarries were worked up and down the slade.

Mine Train Quarry - SO 6015 1010

Mine Train Quarry was known as Bixslade Mine Quarry in 1859, the names coming from a prominent seam of iron ore running through it and periodically mined. The quarry sees occasional use.

Land Level Quarry - SO 5992 1049

One of the smaller disused quarries in Bixslade.

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. Here are two sets of photos 15 years apart, 2007 and 2022, not a lot changes.

January 2022

July 2005


Quick links to :-     Berry Hill     Bixslade     Clearwell     Hopewell
    Mierystock to Lydbrook     Symonds Yat     Wimberry and Cannop
    Lydney and the South West     Blakeney and the South East     Cinderford and the North East

Old Ham Iron Mine, Clearwell - SO 5785 0900

This was my first serious underground exploration, in June 1974. Doug McLean kindly showed us around the mine particularly to show me the tramroad they'd discovered in one of the further reaches of the mine.

Hopewell and Howlerslade

Quick links to :-     Berry Hill     Bixslade     Clearwell     Hopewell
    Mierystock to Lydbrook     Symonds Yat     Wimberry and Cannop
    Lydney and the South West     Blakeney and the South East     Cinderford and the North East

Hopewell Colliery, the tourist side - 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.

Hopwell Colliery, the serious side - 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.

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.

Mierystock to Lydbrook

The Severn & Wye Railway from Serridge Junction to Lydbrook

The Severn & Wye Railway branch from Serridge Junction to Lydbrook Junction follows the route of its predecessor, the Bishopswood Tramroad, down the Lydbrook valley and forms an excellent walking trail today. It was opened in 1874 to goods and 1875 to passengers, the passenger service finishing in 1929 and goods to Lydbrook in 1951 and Mierystock in 1959.
Quick links to :-     Berry Hill     Bixslade     Clearwell     Hopewell
    Mierystock to Lydbrook     Symonds Yat     Wimberry and Cannop
    Lydney and the South West     Blakeney and the South East     Cinderford and the North East

Mierystock - SO 6150 1470

The North portal was buried some years ago but was excavated in 2008.

The Arthur & Edward (Waterloo) Colliery - SO 6090 1505

with the 'creeper' to Mierystock sidings and the original 1850s incline to the Severn & Wye tramroad.

The Severn & Wye Tramroad at Mierystock

The Severn & Wye Tramroad followed the contours, looping around Mierystock hill above Arthur & Edward (Waterloo) Colliery to meet the railway at Brierley Quarry.

Brierley Quarry and Waterloo Mill - SO 6150 1517

The S&W tramroad and railway meet at Brierley. The tramroad performed a convoluted loop to cross the Lyd Brook but the railway ploughed straight through the middle on a high embankment. The quarry had a siding, Brierley Sidings, and probably tramroad access too.

Pluds Colliery and Vicarage Lane - SO 6100 1523

Upper Lydbrook and Coles Rock tunnel - SO 6017 1589

Lower Lydbrook - SO 5970 1655

Lower Lydbrook was the home of iron, wire, tinplate and cable works, plus smal iron and coal mines, strung out along the railway to Lydbrook Junction

The Bishopswood Tramroad - SO 6008 1689

The Bishopswood Tramroad starts at the top of the incline at Lydbrook and gently contoured down to Bishopswood and Cinderhill wharves. It can be followed from the incline to Waterscross Farm after which it is difficult to trace. It opened in 1810 to avoid the Lydbrook incline to the Wye but it struggled to attract traffic. The Bishopswood forge / ironworks closed in 1817 removing one of the few industries on route. It was cut short of the river wharves in c1830 and probably closed soon after. Scotts tramroad from Moorwood level crossed it using a 'flying rail' at Ventions Lane from 1820 to c1823.

Lydbrook tunnel and cable works - SO 5875 1755

Coppet Hill limekiln - SO 5847 1797

The 19th century Coppet Hill limekiln was repaired in 2009 as part of the Wye Valley AONB 'Overlooking the Wye' Project.

Symonds Yat

Quick links to :-     Berry Hill     Bixslade     Clearwell     Hopewell
    Mierystock to Lydbrook     Symonds Yat     Wimberry and Cannop
    Lydney and the South West     Blakeney and the South East     Cinderford and the North East

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

Wimberry and Cannop

Quick links to :-     Berry Hill     Bixslade     Clearwell     Hopewell
    Mierystock to Lydbrook     Symonds Yat     Wimberry and Cannop
    Lydney and the South West     Blakeney and the South East     Cinderford and the North East

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.

Acknowledgments, sources and further reading.

Thanks for addition information and photos to :- Steven Carter, Ian Castledine, John Wood, Hopewell Colliery, Phil Conway-Jones (, Doug McLean, Surancog, Mark Turner (Onecall Cabs), John Wood.
'The Industrial Heriitage of Bixhead and Bixslade in the Forest of Dean' by Ian Standing, 1987.

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