Springwood blast furnace
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1003719
Date first listed: 25-Nov-1969
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Newcastle-under-Lyme (District Authority)
National Grid Reference: SJ 82119 49915
Blast furnace and remains of ironworks east of Furnace House.
Reasons for Designation
Iron has been produced in England from at least 500 BC. The iron industry, spurred on by a succession of technological developments, has played a major part in the history of the country, its production and overall importance peaking with the Industrial Revolution. Iron ores occur in a variety of forms across England, giving rise to several different extraction techniques, including open casting, seam-based mining similar to coal mining, and underground quarrying, and resulting in a range of different structures and features at extraction sites. Ore was originally smelted into iron in small, relatively low-temperature furnaces known as bloomeries. These were replaced from the 16th century by blast furnaces which were larger and operated at a higher temperature to produce molten metal for cast iron. Cast iron is brittle, and to convert it into malleable wrought iron or steel it needs to be remelted. This was originally conducted in an open hearth in a finery forge, but technological developments, especially with steel production, gave rise to more sophisticated types of furnaces. A comprehensive survey of the iron and steel industry has been conducted to identify a sample of sites of national importance that represent the industry's chronological range, technological breadth and regional diversity.
The blast furnace and remains of ironworks east of Furnace House survives as a good example of this class of monument. The blast furnace survives as a prominent industrial feature in the landscape and surrounding it structures and archaeological features and deposits will survive which will provide important information on the operation of ironworking at this site during the late 18th century.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 6 July 2015. The record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.
The monument includes the remains of an 18th century ironworks with brick built blast furnace situated on sloping ground overlooking the Apedale valley. The furnace is approximately 12m high and at its rectangular base measures up to 10m by 8m wide. It is constructed of mostly brick with lower battered and upper raking walls tapering to the top of the furnace mouth. It is built against the slope of the hill which facilitated the charging of the furnace mouth with iron ore and fuel and remains of the charging area survive to the north of the furnace. The furnace includes large splayed archways which lead to tapping holes, where molten iron and slag were extracted. The ironworks were powered by a steam engine and also included within the complex were casting houses, warehouses and workmens houses. It was built by Thomas Kynnersley, and was in operation from 1790 to 1801, known at the time as Partridge Nest Ironworks. The ironstone is thought to have come from forge pits about 0.5 miles to the south east. The monument was restored in the early 1980s. It is also a Grade II listed building (385970).
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: ST 197
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
Pastscape: 75913, HER: DST5591 & NMR: SJ84NW27
This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
End of official listing