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Tyne and Wear HER(5121): Gibside Estate, Warrens Haugh, iron works - Details

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Gibside Estate, Warrens Haugh, iron works




Metal Smelting Site

Iron Working Site

Post Medieval


Documentary Evidence

This meadow was the location of a C16 iron working site. In 1545 Richard Hodgson of Byermoor had a furnace built in the freehold dividing West and East Gibside. Roger Blakiston provided rammel (loppings from the woods). A deed of the 1520s refers to '500 oakes sould by Roger Merlay' at the time of the inception of the furnace. Hodgson's ironmill and furnace at Gibside had rights to the ore from the entire Blakistion domain. By 1553 Roger Blakiston and Richard Hodgson were able to buy out two partners, one of them being Roger's father, William. They owned between them a 'full thrid pte of all the said yrne mynes and yrne mylne'. As well as providing the ore and charcoal for founding, the Blakistons provided coal for forging. They co-opted a metallurgist to exploit their resources on the spot. By 1550 they had an integrated industry. The forge of the 1550s may have been abandoned by the end of the 16th century. In 1608 William Blakiston gave leave to Edward Talbot to build a forge and furnace in the Mylne Field and to make watercourses 'to and fro the said forges and furnisses'. The water supply may have come from the Leapmill Burn. The forge is shown on a plan of 1633 700 yards NE of the burn's junction with the Derwent. Edward Talbot was the brother of the ironmaster 7th Earl of Shrewsbury. In the 1630s the number of smiths doubled at Gibside, indicating an expanson of ironmaking. By the 1680s numbers of smiths had tripled. Swedish imports were used to supplement and improve local stock. This was the period of Baltic 'Eastland' trade. Despite this growth, iron remained the least dynamic Tyne industry - most energy went into ships and coal. The Blakistons eventually abandoned iron for coal.George Bowes established river walls or 'keys' to reduce flooding. A drive crossed the haugh through gates at each end, probably constructed around 1790 to 1820. As the western entrance became more important in the 19th century as a route to the railway, a lodge was built at the entrance to the haugh and ramping provided to reduce the slope.




<< HER 5121 >> W.A. Fairhurst & Partners, 2002, Gibside Estate - Countryside Stewardship Scheme, Restoration and Management; Eric Clavering and Alan Rounding, 1995, Early Tyneside Industrialism: The lower Derwent and Blaydon Burn Valleys 1550-1700, Archaeologia Aeliana, Series 5, Vol XXIII, pages 249-268

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