Dean Heritage Centre

Useful Information

Location: Camp Mill, Soudley, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, GL14 2UB.
Gloucester A40 towards Cheltenham 11.7 km, A48 12.4 km Chepstow, right A4151 Forest of Dean 3.8 km, left on Sutton Rd.
(51.793370, -2.488570)
Open: All year Tue-Sun 10-16.
Fee: Adults GBP 7.20, Children (3-16) GBP 5.40, Children (0-2) free, Students (-26) GBP 6.30, Seniors (60+) GBP 6.30, Disabled GBP 6.30, Unemployed GBP 6.30, Family (2+3) GBP 23.
Classification: SubterraneaMining Museum
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Dean Heritage Centre, Camp Mill, Soudley, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, GL14 2UB, Tel: +44-1594-822170. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1979 Dean Heritage Museum Trust formed to protect the heritage of the Forest of Dean.
1981 site at Camp Mill acquired.
1983 Dean Heritage Centre opened to the public.


The Dean Heritage Centre is an open air museum about history, culture, and art of the Forest of Dean. The museum has an exhibition about the local mining history with numerous exhibits including rails, wheels and mileposts for horse-drawn tramways, and the Lightmoor beam engine. Gallery One has exhibitions on the geology and landscape of the Forest of Dean. They have an impressive collection of local fossils. The archaeological collection has remains form prehistoric inhabitants and Early Roman occupation. An important part of the exhibition is the iron industry, the local mining of coal and iron ore as well as the processing in furnaces. This is only Gallery One, there are five galleries showing all aspects of life in the Forest of Dean.

There is an Iron Forge which was in operation between 1612 and 1674. A number of such forges were built at this time by order of King James I, who controlled the mining rights in the Royal Forest of Dean. During this time the Forest of Dean was the main iron-producing area in England. The Iron Foundry was set up by Samuel Hewlett in 1823. The 19th Century was a time of great expansion for the industries in the area. The foundry was in operation until 1876.