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Tyne and Wear HER(1027): Beamish Burn, industrial archaeological remains - Details

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Beamish Burn, industrial archaeological remains

Beamish Burn



Metal Smelting Site


Post Medieval


Documentary Evidence

A number of interesting industrial sites survive along the Beamish Burn (most of which are in County Durham). High Forge is the most well preserved of all the buildings. It was originally a corn mill but was converted into a Trip Hammer Forge where bar iron was used for cannon making, shovels and files. First recorded in 1714 as Pigg Mill. Little survives of Middle Forge, although its location and the mill race can still be deduced. It was probably partially destroyed in the Beamish Burn flood in 1877. By 1895 buildings were still present but no races. In 1939 the buildings were demolished. The pumping station was built to work in conjunction with the drift mining in the area to remove the water from the mine shafts. Two shafts were present by the engine house. There are records of an "old engine" in 1836, but by 1839 the water wheel power became insufficient to remove water so a steam engine was erected in 1860 and closed c.1926. Low Forge, known as "Hussey's Forge" in 1764, is probably the oldest of the three forges. It closed in 1877 due to the Beamish Burn flood and the buildings were demolished in 1895. The well-covered remains of a stone archway still exist as the entrance to the Paper Mill or Money Hill drift, in operation from 1895 to 1920. One of the buildings of Urpeth Paper Mill still stands and is used as a stable. Mount Escop was originally worker's cottages. The mill was in use from at least 1792 and may have have been destroyed by the flood in 1877. Few records exist of wagonways but they were present in the burn between 1895-1903. The forges were a significant contributor to armaments (canon making) around 1800, especially for the Napoleonic Wars. High and Low Quarries probably supplied stone for the Beamish Estate. High Quarry provided high quality stone, and Low Quarry provided stone for less important buildings. Since c.1900 they have been used for dumping rubbish so little remains. John Eden's Almshouses were built in 1836 by John Eden, landowner of Beamish, as retirement homes for workers from his estate.




<< HER 1027 >> M. Allred, 1992, Historical Interpretation of Beamish Burn F.J. Wade, 1968, The Story of Tanfield and Beamish... Beamish Burn Valley, p 142-145

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