The surviving structures of Backbarrow Ironworks in South Lakeland have been described by Historic England as “the best illustration nationally of iron-smelting technology development from the early C18 to the C20”. The site has featured on the Heritage at Risk register for many years, and there have been a number of previous attempts to “save” it without success. Until now that is.
Under the supervision of Historic England work is underway to conserve the remains of the scheduled ancient monument – which include the furnace stack, hot air stoves and blowing engine – alongside work to develop the rest of the site for housing. Potentially dangerous sections have been fenced so, for example, no-one can wander inside the furnace stack.
The Backbarrow Ironworks Heritage Trust has been established to take over responsibility for the ironworks once development of the whole site is complete in 2020. Until then there is no public access to it. These photos have been taken by members of the Trust.