The small town of Hednesford lies north-east of Cannock on the borders of Cannock Chase. For over a century Hednesford was an important coal mining town.
The oldest parts of the town are its hilltops, while the lower areas developed with the mining industry.
An Army base was established at Hednesford during World War I, with a quarter of a million British and Commonwealth troops passing through on their way to the Western Front. In 1938 the RAF built a camp at Brindley Heath to the north of the town to train technicians in the maintenance and repair of engines and airframes. RAF Hednesford was later used as a resettlement area for Hungarian refugees fleeing the invasion of Budapest by the Russians in 1956. Today the camp is part of the Cannock Chase Country Park.
Following the demise of the coal industry in the late-20th century, Hednesford's commercial life has declined and the town has lost out to neighbouring towns and cities. Recently there have been plans to regenerate the town.
The history of the area and its coal mining tradition is illustrated at the Museum of Cannock Chase on the site of the former Valley Colliery, a training pit where thousands of young men were taught mining techniques in simulated underground conditions before beginning their working lives in the local coal mines. The former corn store of the colliery (where the feed for the pit ponies was kept), now houses the museum. One of the highlights is the 'Coal Face Experience', which gives visitors the chance to don a miner's helmet and find out what it was like to work a narrow coal seam. The museum is set in 30 acres of green open space at the gateway to the Hednesford Hill Nature Reserve, an important lowland heathland habitat on Cannock Chase preserved and enhanced by the encouragement of bracken and heather.
Since the mid-1950s the town has been home to the famous Hednesford Hills Raceway. On the site of a disused reservoir, this bowl-shaped stock car track attracts many thousands to it's major events.
Hednesford Hills Raceway Enjoy a day out at this car race track.
Museum of Cannock Chase Discover the history of Cannock Chase.
Hednesford Hill Nature Reserve Have a walk across the hills in this reserve.
Towns Near Hednesford To Visit - straight line distance:Cannock (1.88 miles) Great Wyrley (3.10 miles) Rugeley (4.49 miles) Penkridge (4.90 miles)