It was formerly a port on the estuary of the River Severn, from which locally mined coal was exported. There was also a shipbuilding industry, with oak from the forest being used to build warships in the 17th century.
Lydney Park has traces of a Celtic temple to the god Nodens, and also of a Roman bathhouse.
Lydney Park Museum includes artefacts discovered during the excavation of the Roman site by Sir Mortimer Wheeler.
St. Mary`s Church has Early English and Perpendicular workmanship.
The Market Cross, over 17 feet high, dates back to the 14th century.
The steam heritage railway known as the Dean Forest Railway runs between Lydney and Parkend.