The Dean Heritage Centre is in the pretty valley of Soudley in the Forest of Dean. DHC exists to record and preserve the unique social and industrial history of the area and its people. The centre comprises the museum itself, a millpond and waterwheel, forester’s cottage also with gardens and animals. The centre also has art and craft exhibitions and workshops. There are many walking trails around the surrounding woodland.
Museum at The Dean Heritage Centre
The museum has five galleries telling the history of the Forest of Dean. This covers from the earliest geological and fossil records to the present day. They display a wide variety of artefacts from industries such as;
- Coal and iron mining.
- Timber and stone work.
- Clock making.
These have shaped the history, landscape and culture of the Forest of Dean.
The more noteworthy artefacts in the museum’s collection are;
- An 1830s Lightmoor Colliery beam engine.
- Thomas Sopwith’s 1838 geological model of Dean Forest.
- The Voyce collection of 18th and 19th-century long-case clocks.
They created the Museum in response to public concern that the heritage of the Forest of Dean was disappearing. The trust bought a former corn mill, Camp Mill, and opened a museum there in 1983. The museum underwent a major refurbishment paid for by the Heritage Lottery Fund and completed in 2003.
Heritage Centre Facilities
In addition, there are picnic tables, barbecue hearths, an adventure playground.There is also a gift shop selling local produce. Finally, they have a Heritage Kitchen, a restaurant providing home-made food.
Where in The Forest Of Dean
Dean Heritage Centre is at Camp Mill in Soudley in The Forest of Dean, its postcode is GL14 2UB.
The Dean Heritage Centre is open throughout the year. However, is has reduced hours in winter. Car parking is available to visitors, they also have additional disabled spaces. For more visitor information see their website http://www.deanheritagecentre.com/
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