Bream was reputed at one time to be the largest village in Gloucestershire,
Bream is situated midway between Lydney and Coleford on the B4231.
The village is built on a ridge of high ground that gives it views over the Forest of Dean, and in the distance can be seen the hills of the Cotswolds.
The actual age of the village is not known as there may have been a settlement here before the Romans came to this country. Iron ore was being mined here before they came, and the miners would most likely have lived near their work, it is possible that they built shelters close to where they worked. In the village church of St. James are tomb stones dated in the 1600's.
The oldest part of the present village is in the area where the High street and the Lydney to Coleford road meet. The old house “Bream Cross” originally bore the date 1565. Some of the houses have a date in the 1600's on them. The New Inn near this road junction which is no longer an Inn, but a private house, has an inscription on one of the fire places that is also on one of the tomb stones in the church, and is dated 1637.
There are three places of worship the Methodist Church in Parkend Road, The Gospel Church in Brockhollands Road and the Anglican Church of St. James in the old part of the village on the Coleford to Lydney road.
Today the population of the village has grown to over 3,000, with the new houses that have been built in the last thirty years. Even with this it still has a village atmosphere.
The main employment in the village in the past was mining, farming. and forestry. Today with the mines closed, there is very little employment now in the actual village, although there are three garages and several shops comprising the following:-
Furniture and carpets, Butchers, Newsagents, D.I.Y, Groceries, Pharmacy, Florist, Motor accessories, Post Office, two Hair Salons, Dog Grooming, a Fish and Chip shop, also a Chinese Take Away.
Lydney is only three miles away where there are more shops and three super markets. Coleford is just 4 miles away with more shops and super markets. Service buses run frequently to both places.
There are just a few light industries, but the majority of the people now commutes to the larger towns outside the forest. Places like Bristol, Gloucester, Cheltenham and Newport can all be reached easily.
Bream is home to one of the Male Voice Choirs that we have in the forest, and also there is a Brass band in the village. There are two Pubs where one can have a meal and a pint.
Two sport clubs again you can have a pint either to celebrate victory or drown ones sorrows, as there are football, rugby and cricket teams in the village.