The charcoal/coke blast furnaces of Cumbria

(Page created 10/05/09. Last updated 03/03/16)

Duddon Furnace (J.Bennett)

by Mike Davies-Shiel in The CIHS Bulletin, December 2004

Click here to see more photos of Duddon Furnace.

(Please note that an archaeological survey in 1998 determined that the Augill smelt mill listed below was used to roast locally found iron nodules before transport to blast furnaces elsewhere. Ed.)

Charcoalonly Name Dates No.of furnaces Grid Ref Other data
A Cleator 1694-1705? 3? NY018136 Prob. closed when Patryckson died
B Backbarrow 1711-1770/1770-1966 1 SD356836 Refs: BRO – BDB/2…
C Cunsey 1712-1751 1 SD383937 House NOT on furnace foundation
D Leighton (in N.Lancs by 2 metres) 1713-1803 1 SD484778 Stack blew up (water shortage)
E Flimby(SSE of Maryport) c.1715-? 1 NY039337 A Wm. Wood disaster with very poor coke
F Little Clifton 1723-1781 1 NY059279 Used coke from start – lack of water power
G Frizington, Lingla Beck 1728-? 1 NY034178 Located by JDJW,JJM,MDS & JYL pre 1987. Not at Bleak House. Another Wm Wood trial site
H Duddon 1736-1867 1 SD197883 Best preserved charcoal site – by LDNPA
I Nibthwaite 1736-1755 (furnace) 1 SD295883 Bobbins atop furnace pre 1816. Forge till c.1840
J Newland 1746-1890 (furnace)(to coke 1873) 1 SD30057970 Blown out 15/12/1890. Cupolas till 25/01/1891
K Low Wood 1747-1798 (then gunpdr) 1 SD346837 Stack stood until 1926(ICI MSS)
L Wilson House, Lindale pre1748-1901 1 SD426809 Continued after John Wilkinson died as a specialist carriage works, with some of his staff from Bersham, eg Mullard. Cupolas from pre-1893.
M Penny Bridge 1748-1791 1 SD308838 Flax mill by 1807. Later bobbins.
Charcoal & Coke
N Maryport (no.1) 1752-1784 (January) 1 NY034362 Blowing cylinders 1777, but always water short
P Seaton/Barepot c.1762-1786 (charcoal) 1/2? NY013295 About 1792 converted to coke fuel
Coke only
1 Seaton/Barepot c1792-1857 (furnace) 2 (iron/brass) NY013295 After 1857 foundry only with rolling mills for tinplate onto iron sheets, + rod & wire slitting etc. -1927
2 Derwent Wks., Workington 1838-1970s 3 NX990287 Am uncertain when it ended
3 Cleator Moor 1841-1929 5 NY016154
4 Augill, Brough
(see note above table)
1848-1882+ 1 NY816146 Built to smelt a rich 2m thick hematite find
5 Woodbank, SE Carlisle 1856-1882+ ? NY421530 Am uncertain when it ended
6 Oldside Wks., Workington 1856-1930 4 NX998298 N. bank of R.Derwent, next to coast railway
7 Harrington 1857-1926 4 NX987247 See Lancaster & Wattleworth
8 Barrow 1859-1967 (late) 12 SD190700 Why did this huge works close to quickly?
9 W.Cumberland Wks,Workington 1862-1893 7 NY002296 Big 7-tonne Bessemer Wks + rolling mills
10 Askam 1866-1932 4 SD213774 Blown out 1932, demolished 1939
11 Millom Sept.1867-Sept.1968 6 SD299798 Earlier refs to bloomsmithy in Park
12 Maryport (Gilmours) 1868-1892 6 NY030360 S of docks, right on the coast
13 Maryport (Solway) 1871-1927 4 NY033355 Several foundries around it. Demolished 1939
14 Lonsdale Wks, Whitehaven 1870-1903 4 NX973188 Had dozens of coke ovens
15 Moss Bay, Workington 1872-1977 4 NX987272 Had own docks. Made colonial railway lines
16 Lowther, Workington 1873-1911 (Dec) 3 NX992288 Made little profit. Later spiegel for Wk’n
17 Newland 1873-1890 (15 Dec) 1 SD30057970 Very small hearth – trial for bigger Backbarrow
18 Parton Spring1874-1889 (late) 2 NY980211 Site imm. S off Lowca Beck
19 North Lonsdale, Ulverston 1874-1938 4 SD30687760 Worked with Millom for a time
20 New Yard, Workington 1875-pre1936 1 NX991283 Had many puddling furnaces + rollingmills
21 Distington 1879-1922 (early) 2 NY014245 Later (WWII) became High Duty Alloys