The Forest of Dean has a rich and distinct industrial history. Coal was recorded as being dug in the Forest in the mid 1240s, but its extraction was of secondary importance to iron ore mining until the 17th century. The mining and ironmaking industries were at their peak in the 19th century. In the 20th century deeper mining was abandoned as reserves of ore and coal became uneconomic to work, and jobs in mining and heavy industry largely disappeared to be replaced by other forms of employment.
New Fancy is a Forestry Commission amenity site, which is located at the site of the former coal mine of the same name. New Fancy is a great place to discover some of the history of the local mining and quarrying industries, the sites of which were spread throughout the Forest of Dean in previous times.