Upcoming events with Yorkley History Group

Yorkley History Group warmly invite you to the following:

On Wednesday 1st June at 7.30pm at Yorkley Community centre we shall be exploring the history of some of the special houses of the Yorkley area. £2 on the door.

On Sunday 5th June there will be a guided history walk round Oldcroft. Meeting at the Nags Head at Yorkley at 2.30 pm. This meeting is in conjunction with the Forest of Dean Walking for Health Group. No charge. 

On Wednesday 6th July at 7.30 pm at Yorkley Community Centre the Worcestershire archaeology team will be explaining their recent dig at Yorkley and telling us what they found. This dig was part of the Foresters Forest Project. All welcome, £2 on the door

Yorkley Archaeological Dig and Open Day Saturday 21st May from 11.00 to 3.00


Volunteers - Survey training 3A team of volunteers led by archaeologists from Worcestershire Archive and Archaeology Service will be investigating two sites they have identified at Yorkley. The investigations are being carried out as part of the Foresters’ Forest Project, a Heritage Lottery funded Landscape Partnership Programme being led by the
Forestry Commission.

 The work will be taking place over two four day sessions in the middle of May and on Saturday 21st May from 11.00 to 3.00 we’d like to invite you to come along to an Open Day to see what’s been found so far. There will be tours of the site, activities for children, information about the results of the fieldwork and a display of any artefacts recovered.

On the edge of the village of Yorkley, a small trench and some test pits will be excavated to investigate a rectangular enclosure which is defined by a bank and ditch. The team aren’t entirely sure what this site was, but we are hoping that it will be similar to an enclosure investigated a few years ago near Ruardean. The
enclosure at Ruardean turned out to be of early Roman date and is thought to
have been a farm or even a small military fort, so we are hoping that the
Yorkley enclosure is another example of such a site. About half a mile from the
enclosure, we will be investigating a second intriguing site where the heavily
overgrown remains of walls, tracks and other features represent all that is
left of the settlement of Tomlin. Tomlin is shown on 18
th and 19th
century maps but by the early part of the 20
th century had been
abandoned. Here survey work will try and match the ruins up with what is shown
on the old maps. We’re also hoping that research at the local record office
might help identify the people who once lived here by looking census records,
births, marriage and death certificates and other sources. With luck we may
even find out why the site was abandoned.

 The work at both sites will help to highlight the great wealth of archaeology and heritage that lies within the Forest and will also support the development of plans for the future management and protection of such sites, so please come along and find out about these two sites and the wider archaeological survey which we’ve been carrying out in the Forest. The location of the dig and parking (near Woodland Place) is shown on the attached map.

pdf icon Yorkley-Trench-and-parking-locations.pdf

Lea Bailey Light Railway Society open this weekend

Something of great interest for the rail and mining enthusiasts this coming weekend.
For directions:
The OS grid reference is SO 6480 1980 just off the Drybrook Road at Bailey Lane End  –  there isn’t much to describe it, apart from the forest gate – but there will be a sign up!
For any queries, please email Philip at philipedwardcj@hotmail.com.
Lea Bailey gold mine – see the work of the society at its open days from 11am-4pm this weekend:

“Historic mining machinery can be seen in action this weekend at the Lea Bailey Light
Railway Society open weekend.
The society, based at Lea Bailey gold mine, operates on a short section of two foot gauge track incorporating a small section of the bed of the former Mitcheldean Road & Forest of Dean Junction Railway.
Members volunteer each weekend to restore heritage mining locomotives and equipment and work on track improvements.
This Saturday and Sunday May 14 and 15, from 11am-4pm, a battery powered Wingrove & Rogers loco, a diesel Simplex loco and an Eimco rockershovel will be giving displays.
The society is also hoping to run a Hunslet loco at Clearwell Caves.
And later on Sunday, a unique air powered Eimco 401 loco will be arriving from Sussex on a two year loan to the railway. The American loco, built in Salt Late City, Utah, is believed to be the only one of its kind in the country. It is hoped to showcase this machine at a further open day in July.
The society is developing an increasing following, particularly on social media, with 24,000 people viewing its activities on Youtube alone. It is hoped the weekend will attract new members.
“There is much work to be done at Lea Bailey,” said spokesman Rob Needham. “It’s not all hard physical labour, although there is plenty of that. The Simplex loco needs repainting,old rail spikes need straightening. Vegetation needs clearing, cups of tea need making,and visitors need talking to.
“It doesn’t matter how often you come, or for how long, every bit helps.”

For further information:


Unsung heros and a walk in the sun

Walk May 16 6
Some twenty members of the Society (and four dogs) enjoyed an afternoon ramble in brilliant weather yesterday, with Geoff Davis leading us on a historic circular walk through Lydbrook and English Bicknor.
We started at the old Temco works, strolled along the river and through fields of bleating lambs, learning about the historically important air crash of June 1942, and visiting English Bicknor church and village for more unsung heroes. Here are a few pictures to show how glorious it was. There will be a full write up in the next newsletter.

English Bicknor History Group meeting Thurs 12 May



& Plants of the Royal Forest of Dean

With Peter Ralph

the history of the royal hunting forest has shape its biology.

Thursday 12
May 2016

7.30pm, English
Bicknor Village Hall

Entry: £2.50, FREE for EBLHG members
– join on the door

Claire Scales
info@rocklodge.co.uk  836191


Moving the stone at New Fancy

​​The approx. 3 tonne stone which has been kindly donated to the Society to house a commemorative plaque for the New Fancy mine, was moved today by local builder Keith Bell’s big machine and hard-working men.

Video of stone being levelled in

Here are a couple of photos – there were lots of cameras and the press was also there, so watch out for more on this.
This has been a real community effort and has taken some time, so many thanks to all involved. Now to get the actual plaque in place…. Will keep you posted.

Ron Beard, Simon Moore, Keith Walker and Keith Bell admiring the stone