Water powered smelt sites

(Page created 05/05/09. Last updated 01/12/14))

From the “First Definitive List of Cumbrian Sites of Iron Mines and Smelt Sites, January 1997”
by Mike Davies-Shiel in The Cumbrian Industrialist, Volume 1, 1998

Sites are graded on a 1-5 scale, where 5 would mean that it is barely recognisable.
1* indicates a site of national importance. Dem indicates that a site has been demolished.

Stringhearths are defined here as those early water-powered sites that used wheels to drive the bellows only, to increase hearth temperatures.

Bloomsmithies – the next evolution – used waterpower for both the smelting of the ores and to power the tilt hammer. By practice they found they had to use two waterwheels, one over- and one under-shot respectively, for the two functions.
Most bloomsmithies’ owners also ventured into the manufacture of smallwares, tools, wire, etc – as bloomforges – but it is very hard to prove which sites did this in the field.

N.B.The list does not include bloomsmithies and bloomforges which were converted to finery/chafery forges in the blast furnace era (after 1711).

Stringhearths Location Grade Notes
Blackmoss Pot NY26751155 2 Bldg + race on E bank of beck
Stake Pass Foot NY26350980 4 Flood wrecked
Gaterigghow NY10900403 2 Small mill pond to E of large mound
Irton Hall NY10520090 Dem Demolished by farmer 1992, much ore
Beck Leven SD31029526 1* 1331-1537. Ore dropped on shore
Hob Gill SD32609158 2 Forestry Comm. re-used, and very old dam
Low Dale Park SD35009160 2 Pre 1608 used lime fluxes
Beck Side Colton SD31478591 2 Saved supports, farm building, 1606
Little Mill SD31778478 2
Skowbarrow SD34558857 1 Working c.1530AD
Burn Knotts SD33008650 4 Small dam due north
Harebridge Ho SD3785814- 4 Leats ex 2 becks. Glassy slag
Bloomsmithies Type Location Grade Dates Notes
Brougham, Penrith Bloomsmithy NY53669291 4 1619-1649 see CW2, 1991
Blencarn, Penrith Bloomsmithy NY65593132 1* 1667-?
Stubs Gill, Distington Bloomsmithy NY01822292 3 17thC used coal/coke fuel
Brigham, Keswick Bloomsmithy NY28622413 4 1624-1724+
Cleator no.1 Bloomsmithy NY01501315 4 -1670-1688+
Smithymire, Borrowdale Bloomsmithy NY27381303 4 ?-1760+ 14thC Furness Abbey site
Holme Forge, Beckermet Bloomsmithy NY01850643 2 ?
Muncaster Forge Bloomsmithy SD14279892 4 1636-1720 end date by pottery
Fell Foot Bloomsmithy NY29700313 4 -1624-1750?
Woodland, Torver Bloomsmithy SD24809084 3 -1592-1752 Scherwinge family
Holly Forge, Rusland Bloomsmithy SD33739080 4 1617-?
Cunsey no.2 Bloomsmithy SD37739356 4 -1623-1715
Graythwaite Old Hall Bloomsmithy not yet found 1543-? Robert Blumer in 1543
Natland Forge, Kendal Bloomforge SD51909082 3 -1750-1787 THE John Wilkinson here
Smithy Beck, Lowick Bloomsmithy not yet found c1770 A Russell site
Beckfoot, Duddon Bloomsmithy SD19348988 4 ?
Thorphinsty, Winster Bloomsmithy SD41558582 4 ?
Ulpha Forge Bloomsmithy SD19599174 4 1625-1688+ Mr.Hudleston’s forge
Backbarrow Forge Bloomforge SD35608472 4 -1606-1711 ?rebuilt 1685
Sedgwick/Levens Forge Bloomforge SD50608649 4 1723-1816+ Bar from Norway, Spain
Parkside, Millom Bloomsmithy SD17008256 Dem -1668-19thC see CW2 26 142
Penny Br Low Smithy Bloomsmithy SD30828376 3 1671-?
Coniston Forge Bloomsmithy see CW2 lxxxix 187-206
Sparkbridge Forge Bloomsmithy SD30508496 Dem -1710-1788 rebuilt 1798 as bloomforge
Stott Park Smithy Bloomsmithy SD37258831 4 1567-1722
Witherslack Bloomsmithy cSD3486 ?1628-1641+
Lindale Forge Bloomsmithy cSD4180 1629-1719 Canny family
Milnthorpe Forge Bloomsmithy SD49658118 4 c1620-1683 paper mill
Dalton Forge, Furness Bloomforge SD225738 Dem -1676-1776 then foundry – 19thC
Keerholme Forge Bloomsmithy SD56027436 4 1685-1798 Par. Reg. confirms end.In Lancs by 5ft

 

The locations of Ulpha Forge and Lindale Forge were revised in December 2014