Clearwell, Nr. Coleford, Royal Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, GL16 8JR
For thousands of years iron ore has been mined at Clearwell Caves. You can still meet a Free Miner here: men whose ancient birthright entitles them to dig for minerals within the Hundred of St Briavels and the Royal Forest of Dean.
Clearwell Caves are now a working mining museum where visitors can see impressive caverns with geological and mining displays. Iron ore from the Caves has been used over many centuries to make tools, weapons and machinery. Some forms of the iron ore occurs in powder form, red, yellow, purple and brown ochre; they are highly valued as pigments and still mined at Clearwell Caves. The Caves are an important but secret part of the Forest of Dean's history and environment.
As well as entering an extensive natural cave system, when you visit Clearwell Caves you are experiencing some of Britain's oldest underground mine workings, dating back well over 4500 years. You walk through impressive caverns created by many generations of Forest people who made their living by mining iron ore and ochre.
Open daily from 11 February - 29 October 2017
Daily 10am - 4pm until Easter
Daily 10am - 5pm after Easter
Christmas Fantasy: Dates TBC
Christmas Fantasy Displays only: Dates TBC
Clearwell Caves can open at any other times, if pre-booked.
Please call to book your visit.
Clearwell Caves recommend that visitors should wear stout footwear.
Throughout the year 'Caving Taster Sessions' are available at Clearwell Caves and led by an experienced team of instructors in the field of caving, help make this adventure an exciting time for all to enjoy (age restrictions do apply). Read the REVIEW of our experiences of caving at Clearwell Caves in the Forest of Dean...
Visit our Whats on in the Forest of Dean pages for more information of the next 'Caving at Clearwell Caves' taster sessions.
Clearwell Caves will soon be developing a new Caving Centre in the Forest of Dean, to help develop this exhilerating activity and make it easier to enjoy. More information will be available in the near future.