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Tyne and Wear HER(3431): Blaydon Burn, Massey's Forge, mill pond and dam - Details

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Blaydon Burn, Massey's Forge, mill pond and dam

Blaydon Burn


Water Supply and Drainage

Water Power Production Site


Post Medieval



A Dam. The location is unclear on the 1st edition OS mapping. It probably lay within a 100m radius of the grid reference on the Blaydon Burn. Blaydon Burn Dam was probably associated with Massey's Forge, (SMR 3432). It was a Horseshoe type, built over an earlier straight structure. It was an unusual type, as the overspill was confined to its northern end {1}. The present dam is of the horseshoe type and is substantially intact. The dam was clearly of an unusual kind in that overspill from it seems to have been confined to the northern end, ie. that section which aligns with the entrained burn immediately downstream. Thus the uppermost dam courses must have been slightly lower than those existing at the southern end. At the southern end, the dam protected a group of buildings on the downstream side, of which some walls and foundations remain. The sluice however must have been at the southern end {2}. One of the most imposing features at Blaydon Burn is a stone dam adjacent to the former brickworks. The dam structure is substantially complete although vandalism has occurred over the years and some restoration work is necessary. On the southern side and adjacent to the dam there is an area containing the remains of walls, foundations and kilns though much of it is largely covered by earth {3}. A substantially intact horseshoe dam which formed part of a water powered forge site. Excavated in 1982 much of the detail of the structure has been recorded and a certain amount of consolidation work undertaken. Vegetation has however once more taken a hold. The dam structure lies in part over an earlier straight dam which shows up on 1st edition Ordnance Survey map. The style of the stonework suggests that the dam is late 18th century and was possibly part of a corn mill until the early19th century when the forge came into operation. The buildings and waterwheels were last used in the 1890s as a foundry by the Blaydon Company of Smith Patterson. This is an impressive surviving feature which deserves attention {6}.




<< HER 3431 >> 1st edition Ordnance Survey Map, c.1855, 6 inch scale, Durham, 2 Tyne & Wear HER, Blaydon Burn File S.M. Linsley, 1981, Blaydon Burn Dam Executive Director of Planning, Gateshead MBC, 1981, Reclamation of derelict land - Blaydon Burn Mill LNH/JMW, 1975, Blaydon Burn - Industrial Archaeology Wheel Turns for Mill... Newcastle Evening Chronicle, August 3 1982 I. Ayris & S.M. Linsley, 1994, A Guide to the Industrial Archaeology of Tyne and Wear, p 50

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