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Lydbrook, Lime Kilns and Forge Hill from Bell Hill.

Lydbrook, Lime Kilns and Forge Hill from Bell Hill (50k)

Looking East across the valley to the Lime Kilns. The open gash to the right of the cottages was the quarry for taking out the limestone. The road from Joys Green comes in from top right leading to many cottages on Forge Hill eventually to end at the approach to the viaduct. Behind the cottages the steep slopes lead to the peaked rocks which are hidden in the trees. The railway line runs through the centre of the photo and the sturdy supporting wall of the big house. When the railway line was built a house stood in the way of progress. It was pulled down and this building "Hill View" was re-erected in 1873-1874 away from the rail line. This large house became famous in the 1920's and 30's. A lighthouse keeper after retiring lived there and it was gossiped that he had seen a ghost on the stairway, the spectre of a person on horseback. The "ghost seekers" soon took interest and it was a point of discussion in the local pubs and homes. It became known as the "Ghost House". It must be said that the owner had changed the name earlier to "Bet Kyber", All this interest gave rise to the building of a small "church" (extreme left in line with the Ghost House). This was called the Spiritual House/Church and was mysteriously burned down in the 1950's. A local resident recalls walking up the path far left in the 1950's and seeing a lady walking down the path approaching the stile. The lady was wearing a billowing dress and a hood. He stepped aside to let the woman climb the style, then climbed the stile himself. As he turned and looked back the woman had disappeared. The building middle bottom with the "hop roof" is the remains of the wire and nail works in use from about 1820-1880. There would have been a pond for the power. The Bell Inn was nearly opposite across the road . To the bottom left (not visible on the photo) was the Anchor Inn opposite Sarah Siddons House or the Old House. Horses working for the haulage of tinplate were stabled in the Anchor Inn. It has been said that Cromwell's men stabled horses here during the civil war. There are now modern homes on the site of the Wire Mills, the properties extreme bottom left are of the middle 1930's.

Ken W Sollars.

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