Gateway to the Forest of Dean

Admission & Opening Times
Sign up for our Newsletter
Dean Heritage Centre Museum & Galleries

Dennis Potter Heritage Project


The Dennis Potter Heritage Project is the culmination of over 5 years hard work between a unique partnership, the Dean Heritage Centre; Voices in the Forest Community Group; the University of Gloucestershire; the Rural Media Company and Lakers School.

All five partners collaborated on a joint funding bid to purchase, preserve and display the complete archive of English television dramatist, screenwriter and journalist Dennis Potter at the Dean Heritage Centre.

In 2010, thanks to a successful Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) bid and funding from the Local Action Group (LAG) the partners were able to purchase the Potter archive, preventing it from being lost to a private
collection overseas.Santa and reindeer

The Potter archive comprises material spanning several decades of Potter's career and includes handwritten copies of scripts and documentation relating to his well-known works as well as unpublished works and initial drafts.

The archive is housed within the Centre's Gage Library and will be catalogued by centre staff and volunteers. Once the archive has been catalogued, members of the public will be able to book an appointment to view the rare and unique manuscripts.

Once the archive has been catalogued, members of the public will be able to book an appointment to view the rare and unique manuscripts.  We are happy to respond, within 28 days, to any preliminary enquiries regarding the Dennis Potter Archive and its paper-based contents.  We are unable to assist with enquiries not pertaining to the archive, for example: enquiries about copyright, usage of Potter's audio-visual works or sales outlets.

For enquiries regarding Potter's audio-visual works we would encourage members of the public to contact Potter's ex agent Judy Daish.  For sales outlet, please contact the relevant broadcaster.

The Potter archive has been complemented with a permanent Potter exhibition and audio trail. The exhibition includes a reproduction 1950's living room, a display case containing reproductions from the Potter collection and an audio trail that can be found throughout the galleries.

The exhibition provides visitors with a better understanding of the significance of the Forest of Dean since 1945 and the significance Potter has had and continues to have on television and the media.


The Dennis Potter Heritage Project has also funded a community film, inspired by Blue Remembered Hills (1979), written, produced and acted by students from Lakers School working in liaison with the Rural
Media Company.Santa and reindeer

The University of Gloucestershire has liaised with the Centre to create and record the audio for the trail, recorded local people's memories of Potter and funded a three year full-time doctoral research studentship
to conduct research into the work of Potter. Students will also use the Potter archive as a teaching, learning and research resource.

All the partners involved in the Dennis Potter Heritage Project hope that the permanent Potter exhibition will provide present and future generations with an interest in Potter's work, and that the archive, exhibition and audio tour will ensure the impact Potter has had on television and the impact the Forest of Dean has had on Potter continues to be recognised


In October 2011, Lord Bragg, broadcaster, author and friend of Dennis Potter paid a visit to the Centre to see how the project was progressing.

Lord Bragg & John Belcher

Lord Bragg said: “I think the idea of using the archive as a launching pad, irrigating the appetites of the young people of the area, is as good as it gets really. I couldn’t think of a better way to employ it, rather than it being something to be stared at. Taking it on the way that you are doing is very imaginative, it’s the sort of thing that Dennis would have been extremely happy with”

See archive footage related to the Potter Collection below.

Please note the special event mentioned took place in 2013.