Site of Yarranton iron furnace
Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number: 1005290
Date first listed: 10-Jun-1968
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
District: Malvern Hills (District Authority)
Parish: Astley and Dunley
National Grid Reference: SO 79373 66568
Yarranton Iron Furnace 270m south-west of Hill Top Farm.
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. Despite demolition, partial excavation and afforestation, the surviving remains of Yarranton iron furnace are known to survive comparatively well under a protective layer of earth. The features will provide an insight into 17th century technological advances in iron production.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 21 May 2015. This 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. As such they do not yet have the full descriptions of their modernised counterparts available. Please contact us if you would like further information.
This monument includes an iron blast furnace situated on the northern bank of Nutnell Brook, south west of its confluence with Dick Brook. The monument survives as the buried remains of a blast furnace and a waterwheel race and leat that were constructed of sandstone in about 1652. The site is defined by a 2m high mound that was excavated in 1964 and 1976. The excavations uncovered a round hearth built into a 6m square sandstone structure that was powered by a waterwheel and an associated dam and leat. A stone abutment of the leat is extant on the southern bank of Nutnell Brook.
The iron furnace is believed to be the earliest circular iron furnace in England and was founded by Andrew Yarranton in about 1652. It was active until about 1660 and the site was demolished in 1700. The water for the furnace originally came from Sharpley Pool that has since been drained after the construction of a new dam and pool upstream. The site is also known as Sharpley Pool Furnace.
The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.
Legacy System number: WT 298
Legacy System: RSM - OCN
PastScape Monument No:- 114142
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