Becoming a town

Coleford was originally an outpost of the Medieval manor of Newland so when manors morphed into civil parishes, despite its growing economic muscle Coleford remained part of the large parish of Newland centred on the small village of that name. 

It was only in 1894, when local government was taking on new powers, that Coleford finally became a parish in its own right and an urban district for administrative purposes. 

However, it seems the authorities were undecided as to whether Coleford was a town or not: its triumph was short-lived and it was subsumed into West Dean Rural District in 1935. This itself became part of the Forest of Dean District in 1974 when Coleford was awarded its own Town Council. 

The Town Arms of the parish feature on the crest an image of a pipe-smoking freeminer from a unique brass at Newland Church.