Ancient Monuments

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Early Iron Furnace in Woolpitch Wood

A Scheduled Monument in Trellech United (Tryleg Unedig), Monmouthshire (Sir Fynwy)

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Latitude: 51.7402 / 51°44'24"N

Longitude: -2.7392 / 2°44'21"W

OS Eastings: 349054

OS Northings: 204872

OS Grid: SO490048

Mapcode National: GBR JJ.1HPV

Mapcode Global: VH876.GJR9

Entry Name: Early Iron Furnace in Woolpitch Wood

Scheduled Date:

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 3357

Cadw Legacy ID: MM177

Schedule Class: Industrial

Category: Kiln

Period: Post Medieval/Modern

County: Monmouthshire (Sir Fynwy)

Community: Trellech United (Tryleg Unedig)

Traditional County: Monmouthshire


The monument consists of the remains of an Iron Furnace dated to the 17th century. The furnace remains are located on level ground 8m N of Penarth Brook, and consist of a square stone base surmounted by a slightly smaller square upper section. The S and W walls stand to a height of between 2m and 3m and are constructed from unmortared coursed rubble with roughly dressed quoins, and are battered. The N and E walls have largely collapsed, although the W side of the tuyere arch survives 1.4m from NW corner of the building, together with a 1m length of the wingwall leading to the arch. The NE half of the furnace, including part of the interior, now consists of a mound of earth and rubble. On the W and S sides of the interior parts of the lining survive, extending around 3m above the height of the rubble. The lining is made from thin blocks of fine ground stone laid in courses but not mortared. A section of uncoursed and unmortared walling, 0.8m wide and 2.5m long is located approximately 2m to the E of the furnace and may be the remains of a casting house. The remains of two further buildings are located 20m N of the furnace, both built on terraces cut into the side of the hill. The larger building measures 15m by 6m and stands to a maximum height of 2m. It may have functioned as a charcoal or ore store. The smaller building measures 6m by 3m and stands to a height of 0.6m. To the W of the furnace are the remains of a leat and possible pit for a water wheel that would have powered the bellows. The site is likely to have been in the early 17th century by the Earl of Pembroke who owned the manor of Trellech. It is not listed in any records of 18th century furnaces suggesting that it was only in use for a relatively short period.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of 17th century industrial practices. It retains significant archaeological potential, with a strong probability of the presence of associated archaeological features and deposits. The structure itself may be expected to contain archaeological information concerning chronology and building techniques. An industrial monument may be part of a larger cluster of monuments and their importance can further enhanced by their group value.

The scheduled area comprises the remains described and areas around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive.

Source: Cadw

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