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 ten sites of national importance that represent the industry's chronological range, technological breadth and regional diversity.
The two bloomeries, 340m and 570m NNE of Hoathwaite Landing on Coniston Water retain significant archaeological remains of medieval iron smelting including large quantities of industrial process residues, such as slag, and the bases of clay lined furnaces. The monument provides insight into the development of the iron industry in England during the medieval period.
The monument, which falls into two areas, includes the remains of two bloomeries thought to be of medieval date on the west bank of Coniston Water. The bloomeries which are furnaces for smelting iron from iron ore, survive as two mounds 230m apart. One measures approximately 35m by 20m and the other 25m by 20m, with a height of between 1m and 1.5m. Partial excavation of one mound indicated it to contain large quantities of tap slag and the base of at least two clay lined furnaces. As a Royal Decree of 1564 abolished bloomeries in the area, the monument is understood to date to the medieval period.
PastScape Monument No:- 39940, 39935
NMR:- SD39NW12, SD39NW11
Lake District National Park HER:- 2029, 2030