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Fownhope stands on the bank of the River Wye, in an area of outstanding natural beauty.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, Fownhope had a thriving lime industry and, since lime-burning was thirsty work it was natural that there should be several Inns in the village. There was also a thriving brewery in the 19th century in what now is Rock House. The Green Man has been a coaching house and courthouse - the judges room and cell still exist. Low down beside Fownhope church wall are the remains of Fownhope's combined stocks and whipping post. As a reminder of the village's coaching days, in the corner of the churchyard is a milestone giving precise distances to Ross-on-Wye, Hereford and Hoarwithy. One of the most interesting cottages in the village is "Bark Cottage" which derived its name from the bark-stripping industry which which was based on land now occupied by Fownhope Motors.
Fownhope is a picturesque village surrounded by lush meadows and close to two Iron Age forts: Capler Camp (towards Brockhampton) and Cherry Hill (towards Mordiford) which commanded strategically important views of the River Wye. More recently the Wye has been commercially important to the village as barges carrying bark would travel downstream to Lydbrook and return laden with coal from the Royal Forest of Dean. At the end of the 18th century, as the Wye Tour became popular, there was a thriving trade in pleasure cruises travelling to Ross-on-Wye, Monmouth and Chepstow.
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