The Belle Vue Centre consists of St Annal’s House and Rheola House. Owned by Cinderford Town Council, it houses the council chamber and officers, the registry office and a business centre used by numerous businesses and charitable organisations.
Meeting Room Hire
Several meeting rooms of different sizes are available for hire. Find out more about meeting room hire.
The Belle Vue Centre currently has a number of offices available to rent. Find out more about office space to rent.
The history of St. Annal’s House
The land on which St. Annal’s House now stands, was acquired in the November of 1939, and formed part of the old Flaxley Estate, which was outside the statutory Royal Forest of Dean. This land was bounded to the east by Hinders Lane (now Dockham Road), and to the west by a turnpike road made in 1828, which was later called Bilson Road, but finally being known as Belle Vue Road by 1881.
The owner was Mr. Aaron Goold and his Wife Sarah, who originated from Somerset. At this time, Cinderford was known at Littledean Woodside, and was fast becoming a Town because of Iron manufacture, Iron Mining and Coal Mining. Mr. Goold had come to Cinderford as the Agent for Mr Edward Protheroe, the West Indies Merchant and Bristol MP (1812-1820), who was a dominant figure in the coal field and was in fact owner of several Collieries in the Parkend and Cinderford areas.
Later, Aaron Goold was to become a Colliery Owner himself, when a Company headed by him, acquired Edward Protheroe’s large Collieries at Bilson and Crumpmeadow, in 1846.
It was Aaron Goold who had the Wesley Methodist Church built, and also his Mansion which he named Belle Vue House. Trees and shrubs lined the way from the entrance gate to the Chapel door, and to outsiders, it became known as the Chapel in the Grove, and in 1927, the Reverend Frederick Balch described it as the most beautiful building in Cinderford. Aaron moved to Belle Vue House from Bilson House in Valley Road (now the site of Oakland’s Snooker Centre), around 1851.
In 1872, Belle Vue House was purchased by William Blanch Brain, along with the rest of the estate, for the purchase price of £10,000. Mr. Brain and his Brother, were the owners of the Trafalgar Colliery in Cinderford.
In 1907, the Mansion then known as St. Annal’s House, was for sale again for £1,000. The Vendor was a Baptist Minister who sold the property to the Baptist Church, and turned it into an Institute for young people, and so the property then became known as The Institute.
The Mansion changed hands again and St. Annal’s House became the home of the Forest of Dean Colliery Owners Association. In the early 1950’s, the Mansion was in the ownership of the East Dean Rural District Council, and on the re-organisation of local Government in the early 1970’s, it then passed to the Forest of Dean District Council, housing the Chief Executive Officer, Legal Department and Planning Department.
Finally, it is now owned by Cinderford Town Council, following a public meeting at the Miners Welfare Hall in February 1992, when the decision to purchase was supported, and to develop a Community Business Centre, now known as the Belle Vue Centre.
The Belle Vue Centre consists of the former Fire Station which was joined to the old legal department, and now known as Rheola House, together with the jewel in the crown, St. Annal’s House, which houses many organisations, including Cinderford Town Council.
The Belle Vue Centre was officially opened on Wednesday 6th April 1994, with the ribbon being cut by Dame Ann Mueller DCB, Rural Development Commissioner.
The Town Council would like to think that Mr. Aaron Goold would give his blessing to such a use for his Mansion, and that his building is a fitting administration centre for the Town that he helped to develop.