Heritage » Geomap

This unique sculpture is not only a geological map of the Forest of Dean in stone, it is also a map of the area’s industrial history. In combining the two, it demonstrates the close relationship between them.

The great industries of quarrying and mining in Dean date back to pre-Roman times. Most of the coal and iron mines on the map are now disused, but several quarries are still in use, providing both building stone and aggregate. The coal seams are located in the Pennant and Trenchard Groups and the iron mines were virtually all located within half a mile of the Crease Limestone, part of the Carboniferous Limestone Series. Quarries are located in limestone areas for aggregate extraction and formerly for agricultural lime, and in sandstone areas for building stone.

The rocks making the map are, with one exception, taken from operational and disused quarries in Dean, with the help and cooperation of quarry managers and landowners, and form an accurate geological map of the area.

Coal mines, iron mines and quarries are represented by numbered discs on the map. The names of the various quarries and mines are listed overleaf.

The grant from Natural England for this unique piece of sculpture was awarded to the Forest of Dean Local History Society in partnership with the Forestry Commission, Gloucestershire Geology Trust, Coleford MCTI Partnership and the Forest of Dean District Council.

Find out more about the Geomap below.

What Is The Geomap?

In 2007, the Forest of Dean Local History Society was awarded a grant of £107,200 by DEFRA’s Aggregates Levy Sustainability Fund (administered by Natural England) to produce a spectacular piece of sculpture, known as ‘The Geomap’.

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Who Was The Sculptor?

David Yeates studied Fine Art at the Royal Forest of Dean College in Gloucestershire and then attained a 2:1 B.A. Hons degree in Art & Design, specialising in sculpture, at the Carmarthenshire College of Arts and Technology. He was awarded ‘Student of the Year’ in stone sculpture; three years concurrently his work was accepted for the ‘Bronze Medal Foundation’. His work is often commissioned, and he has designed a range of sculptural pieces for outdoor projects and gardens, most recently completed being ‘public art’ commission of three ‘Forest of Dean Oak’ benches for Gloucester City Council’s project on the redevelopment of Kings Square, which he designed and built himself. David also designed and created ten sculptures from ‘Forest Sandstone’; the largest being over 7 tons for the Lydney Docks development alongside the River Severn, commissioned by the Environment Agency.

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How Was It Built at New Fancy?

Map foundations were made of reinforced concrete, half a metre thick. The map was correctly orientated North/South. The map jigsaw was then fixed to the foundations, using a dry mix. The coal mines, iron mines and quarries are represented by numbered discs on the map. The discs were drilled into the map and fixed using a cement mix. The main railway lines and some tramroads were then painted onto the map.

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When was the Geomap ‘Unveiled’?

The Geomap was ‘unveiled’ at New Fancy on Saturday 3rd May 2008 by Mark Harper M.P. and John Harvey to the music of a brass band. Sculptor David Yeates, Liz Berry (his wife and Project Manager) and Christine Martyn (Chair of FODLHS) were in attendance as well as large crowds.

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Where can I see the Geomap

The Geomap is at the New Fancy Viewpoint[heritage/new-fancy/]in the Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, two miles south of the Speech House Hotel (see map).

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