A cannon outside the Speech House.
This old postcard showing woodland opposite the Speech House also shows one of the two cannons that stood there for many years. The plinth on the right, that marks the centre of the Forest of Dean, is yet to have it's pillar re-instated.
Does anyone know anything about the cannons? or what happened to them? If so, please click below
Thanks to Went Phillips, who added (June 2007): "I believe that the cannons were melted down for scrap metal during the war. There were 2 small cannons and one large one".
Jeff Jones added (November 2015): "... The book 'The Forest of Dean' by Arthur Owens Cooke is a detailed account of a visit to the whole area c1912 and is recommended reading, it can be read f-o-c on various websites. In it he describes a visit to the Speech House, and states; 'The Holly Wood around the house explored, there then is Beechenhurst, northward across the Cinderford and Coleford road. To enter it we pass between two little cannon, 'Charon' and 'Griper', cast some years since at Cinderford.' I cannot find anymore online references to what I find an intriguing subject, I'm a mechanical engineer from Cinderford with an interest in military items, so would welcome more detail, please.
HMS Charon and HMS Griper were 'Albacore class' vessels in the Royal Navy (source: wikipedia) - so there is a possibilty that the cannons may have come from these vessels.
Jeff also found an old image on which is printed: "Speech House Road and 2 old guns made by Crawshay in 1850". Jeff added (April 2016): "... I would guess that yes the Crawshay company did cast them, but no idea where..., but more likely Merthyr if they were genuine cannons fit to be proof-fired, rather than just ornamental ones which Cinderford could have done also surely it's easier just to ship them from Merthyr where they may have had spares ?. The Crawshays lived at Abbotswood House in Ruspidge/St Whites in the c1850, the house was a Church of England Temperance home by 1907, perhaps?? the guns had been in the gardens there and were thought unsuitable by the Church by 1907, altho they could equally have been at other Crawshay homes at Blaisdon Hall or Oaklands Park, Newnham... ???"
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