Places to stay, things to do, good food and drink
F is for…
Flaxley was once a major industrial centre. The Forest of Dean was an important medieval ironworking region, and the earliest forge in Flaxley is recorded in the 12th century. Westbury Brook was the site of five water mills, and at Gun’s Mill by Flaxley was one of the main gun foundries of the English Civil War era. A blast furnace was built there in 1629. Today, Flaxley offers a pleasant picturesque wooded scene and is difficult to imagine it any other way, but it has a strong industrial past, notably of iron furnaces, forges and water mills.
Flaxley is also famous for its old Cistercian abbey founded between 1148-1154 by Roger, Earl of Hereford, at the spot where his father, Miles of Gloucester, was killed whilst out hunting. The abbey and its monks were initially favoured by the Crown and it was granted land (by Henry II in 1158) as well as timber and woodlands (by Henry III in 1227) The abbey survived as a monastic entity until the Dissolution in 1536-37 when its lands and manor were granted to Sir William Kingston, the Constable of the Tower of London (who supervised the execution of Anne Boleyn).
Forest of Dean
The Forest of Dean is made up of four quite different landscape areas:
Forest of Dean, USA
The Forest of Dean in the USA is also the site of an iron mine, but it is not possible to visit as it is in the grounds of the West Point Military Academy in Orange County.