Before modern roads and railways were built in this area, the River Wye was the main transport artery linking settlements up and down the valley.
However river traffic declined rapidly after this, the Ross and Monmouth Railway, was opened in 1873. Several sidings served local iron ore and coal mines in the Highmeadow area and to facilitate the extration of quarried stone and timber.
In the Victorian period, there were usually about five passenger trains daily in each direction between Ross-on-Wye and Monmouth. Hadnock Halt operated as a request stop in the last few years of the railway's operation. But like many other rural railways lines, the Ross and Monmouth branch was expensiver to maintain and operate and it carried relatively few passengers.
Unfortunately, there was little co-ordination between the service and the nearby Wye Valley Railway (Chepstow to Monmouth opened in 1876), so that passengers travelling between Chepstow and Ross had an inconvenient and sometimes lenghty change at Monmouth. Both railways were closed to passengers in January 1959 leaving Monmouth isolated from the national railway network.
This series is published with the kind permission of Natural Wales and the Forestry Commission.