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The Forest of Dean by H. G. Nicholls

In the Mitcheldean Meand Enclosure


With respect to the rarer plants found in the neighbourhood, it may be observed that the walk by the side of the Wye from Ross to Chepstow is said to be the most productive in objects of botanical interest of any part of England. The following list, kindly furnished by Mr. Gee, applies chiefly to the north-east section of the Forest and its vicinity:--

_Toothwort_ (Lathraea squamaria), at the Scowles above the Lining Wood. _Bog Asphodel_ (Narthecium ossifragum), in the Mitcheldean Meand Enclosure. _Gentian_ (Gentiana amarella), Limestone Quarry near Silverstone, at the Hawthorns. _Winter Green_ (Payrola media), Hare Church Hill. _Bog Pimpernel_ (Anagallis tenella), Purlieu Road. _Sundews_ (Drosera rotundifolia and longifolia), Mitcheldean Meand. _Little Sallow_ (Salix repens), Mitcheldean Meand. _Viola lactea_, Mitcheldean Meand. _Cotton Grass_ (Eriophorum angustifolium), Mitcheldean Meand. _Petty Whin_ (Genista Anglica), the waste between the Dampool and the Speech House. _Gromwell_ (Lithospermum officinale), throughout the Forest. _Bee Orchis_ (Ophrys apifera), road to Bishopswood. _Services_ (Pyrus pinnatifida and aria), Bicknor Rocks. _Barberry_ (Berberis vulgaris), Bicknor Rocks. _Cotyledon umbilicus_, Purlieu Road. _Narcissus biflorus_, Hope Mansel. _Mentha piperita_, Bishopswood.

Mr. Bird has been so good as to supply the accompanying list of Forest Ferns:--

Scolopendrium ceterach, and S. vulgare. Polypodium vulgare. Blechnum boreale. ,, phegopteris. Pteris aquilina. ,, dryopteris. Aspidium lobatum, and Filix mas and spinulosum, dilatatum, Ruta muraria, Trichomanes, Adiantum nigrum, Filix foemina.

To which may be added the Polypodium calcareum, noticed by Mr. Anderson, of the Bailey Lodge, who further states that the Daphne Mezereon shrub, as well as the wood laurel, are indigenous in the Forest, especially in the coppices on the limestone.

CHAPTER XIV.

_The Iron Mines and Iron Works in the Forest_--Mr. Wyrrall's description of the ancient excavations for iron--Their remote antiquity proved, and character described--Historical allusions to them--The quality, abundance, and situation of the old iron cinders--The early forges described--Portrait of an original free miner of iron ore--His tools--Introduction of the blast furnace into the Forest--Various Crown leases respecting them--A minute inventory of them--Mr. Wyrrall's glossary of terms found therein--Mr. Mushet's remarks on the remains of the above works--First attempts to use prepared coal in the furnaces--Iron-works suppressed--Value of iron ore at that time--Dr. Parsons's account of the manner of making iron--State of the adjoining iron-works during the seventeenth century--Revival of them at its close--Their rise and prosperity since--At Cinderford, Park End, Sowdley, Lydbrook, and Lydney--Character of the iron-mines at the present time.


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