Gloucestershire Places of Worship

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Photograph at present.

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Salem Free Church, Berry Hill, Coleford
Salem Free Church,
Park Road,
Berry Hill, Coleford, Gloucestershire.


We believe the Church does NOT have a graveyard.

Note: any church within an urban environment may have had its graveyard closed after the Burial Act of 1853. Any new church built after that is unlikely to have had a graveyard at all.

Church History

This Place of Worship was founded in 1900, and we understand it is still open.

There are photographs of Salem Free Church on the Geograph website, including one of a datestone showing the church was built in 1900.

Old Maps of the time (for instance OS 1902 1:2,500) label it as "Salem Chapel (Unitarian)".

Dennis Potter, the Forest of Dean playwright, who wrote 'Pennies from Heaven', and 'The Singing Detective' attended Sunday-school here. This is mentioned an Old Photograph of the Cross Roads, Berry Hill on the "Sun Green" website of Old Photos of The Forest of Dean. The Forest of Dean was the setting for many of Dennis's plays, an admirable example of writing about what you know!

But there's more... apparently Dennis came from one of the 10 families who together built the Chapel. This information is revealed in an account by a documentary film maker, writing in 2004 about preparations for a forthcoming TV programme about Dennis. The writer describes the Chapel's interior in a way that makes it sound very special - "the loving and careful way it had been decorated … the wooden panelling was the work of a master carpenter … as arresting as the first sight of any religious work of art" (and) "the unchanged simplicity of the decor … as if I had just walked into a working man's front parlour in the early years of the century"

The article - The real Dennis Potter - was published in the "Culture" section of The Independent on 19th December 2004.


Now or formerly Free Church.

If more than one congregation has worshipped here, or its congregation has united with others, in most cases this will record its original dedication.


This Church is located at OS grid reference SO5755612710. You can see this on various mapping systems. Note all links open in a new window:


I have found many websites of use whilst compiling the information for this database. Here are some which deserve mention as being of special interest for Berry Hill, Coleford, and perhaps to Local History and Places of Worship as a whole.

The above links were selected and reviewed at the time I prepared the information, but please be aware their content may vary, or disappear entirely. These factors are outside my control.

Information last updated on 19 Nov 2018 at 12:54.

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Further Information

This site provides historical information about churches, other places of worship and cemeteries. It has no affiliation with the churches or congregations themselves, nor is it intended to provide a means to find places of worship in the present day.

Please also remember that whilst the above account may suggest that Salem Free Church remains open and accessible, this may not remain so.

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This Report was created 3 Dec 2023 - 17:01:59 GMT from information held in the Gloucestershire section of the Places of Worship Database. This was last updated on 13 Oct 2021 at 14:13.

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