Clearwell Caves Ancient Iron Mines, Forest of Dean

Clearwell Caves Ancient Iron Mines, Forest of Dean

Atmospheric show caves and mine system that has produced artists pigments for over 4,500 years and were dug for iron ore until 1945, making one of Britain's most complex and ancient mine workings. Exciting displays and a great underground experience for all the family.

Clearwell Caves - Ancient Iron Mines, Forest of Dean

 

A uniquely special home to so many amazing things!

 

A natural cave system set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Atmospheric show caves and mine system that has produced artists pigments for over 4,500 years and were dug for iron ore until 1945, making one of Britain's most complex and ancient mine workings. Exciting displays and a great underground experience for all the family.

 

For thousands of years ochre and iron ore has been mined at Clearwell Caves. You can still meet a Freeminer here; for over a thousand years, Freeminers have held an ancient birth-right that exclusively entitles them to mine for iron ore, coal and stone, throughout the Royal Forest of Dean area.

Clearwell Caves are a now a working mining museum where you see the impressive and atmospheric caverns the iron miners made. There are displays throughout telling the miners' story from the Stone Age up to the present day. Iron ore from the Caves has made tools, weapons and machinery over the centuries, but iron ore also occurs as ochre powders that is used to make artists' pigments. Red, yellow, purple and brown ochre are still mined here today. The iron mines are an important part of the Forest of Dean's story. Until recently, the Caves were operated by father and son team Jonathan and Ray Wright. Recently, the founder of Clearwell Caves, Ray Wright, passed away peacefully on 7th August 2015. Ray began opening the Caves in 1968 and had remained involved throughout. Ray was secretary to the Royal Forest of Dean Freeminers' Association for over 30 years, he was one of four Forest of Dean Verderers, he had been chairman of the Wyedean Tourism Association during the 1980's. Clearwell Caves are a tribute to Ray's vision and are now the result of his and Jonathan's knowledge of Forest of Dean, it's history and culture; they feel passionately that the iron mines should be accessible for future generations to enjoy. Jonathan continues to operate the Caves today.

 

Quick list of reasons to visit:

* Fun for all the family * a great underground experience * Atmospheric mine workings with nine impressive caverns

* Fascinating displays throughout * Visitor centre with Phyllis Lewis 'Forest Story' ceramic figures collection

* Ochre workshop - see where artists pigment is prepared * Activities during children's holidays

 

Gift Shop with excellent souvenirs, gifts, crystals and minerals and a great cafe.

Plus free children's play area, picnic areas, and miner's smallholding.

Surface walks around Clearwell Meend (large common) and into historic and picturesque Clearwell village, with beautiful church and Victorian village well (Clearwell Castle - is a wedding venue, not open to visitors) 3 good pubs, 2 good hotels, excellent food served at 3 premises.

 

When visiting please wear stout footwear such as trainers or wellies with reasonable grip. Children must be closely supervised at all times. Access in the Caves is steep in many places.

 

Depart Aprox. 17.00

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Name Address Contact Details
Bridgwater Bridgwater Mount Street Bus Stop
Rear of Angel Place Shopping centre
Bristol Anchor Road East Anchor Road Opposite @Bristol
Eastbound Bus Stop
Bristol Tesco Tesco's Eastville Bus stop - Jct 2 of M32
(Tesco's Car park only has a 2 Hr. parking limit)
Burnham on Sea Burnham on Sea, Pier Street
Bus Stop The Old Pier Tavern
Clevedon Clevedon
First Choice Travel Agency
Gordano Gordano M5 Services CAR PARK
Highbridge Highbridge, Church Street Bus Stop
Near to Church
Taunton Taunton - Tower Street
Bus/Coach Station
Weston Borough Arms Borough Arms, Bus Shelter
after main entrance to old Clarks Factory
Weston-super-Mare Weston-super-Mare
Locking Road Car Park
Worle Bus Stop Worle Preanes Green, New Bristol Rd.
Summer Lane Bus Shelter
Worle - Homebase Worle - Homebase Bus Stop opposite Bridge Farm
New Bristol Road
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