Skip to main content

Monument record MDR5173 - Barlow Brook furnace (site of), Barlow

Type and Period (8)

  • (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

Early in the 17th century, blast furnaces were put up at Barlow. (1) The Earl of Shrewsbury "was the owner of smithies at Barlow, near Chesterfield … in 1588, and at the beginning of the next century he erected a closed furnace there. Arther Mower, who was at one time bailiff to the Barleys at Barley Hall, entered in his diary:- 'The rearing of the furnace at Barley Smithies was on Monday being in the 3 Jac. I 19 Aug. 1605 … The first sow of iron that was drawn there was of Thursday at morning about spring of the day, being 27 March 1606 …'". (2) [Area centred SK 3475 7535] Local tradition states that the furnaces lay on Barlow Brook between Smeltinghouse and Furnace Lanes. (3) From at least the 13th century, forges and workings are recorded for Barlow, among other places. (4) Barlow Brook is the location of an ancient ironworks. An iron forge is recorded in 1578 and a new furnace (1605) was probably shut down by the end of the 17th century. In 1951 Dr R A Mott reported that the ruins of a charcoal iron furnace were visible, but these were bulldozed away when slag heaps were removed. Ancient slag heaps remain, and a rank of beehive coke ovens, and ruins of later blast furnaces whose provenance has not been traced. (5) A furnace was established on Barlow Brook by the 6th Earl of Shrewsbury in 1605-6, with an associated forge. The latter had become a cornmill by the 1650s but the furnace survived and in 1693 was leased for 11 years to John Jennens of Erdington Hall, Warwickshire. This appears to be the last reference to the site, which does not appear in any of the 18th century lists. The site is indicated today by the name Furnace Lane, where structural remains were reported in about 1950, which have since been cleared away. Burdett does not mark a mill site of any kind at the point where Furnace Lane crosses the brook. (7, 8)

Sources/Archives (10)

  • <1> Article in serial: Jenkins, R. 1933-34. 'Historical notes on some Derbyshire industries', Transactions of the Newcomen Society. pp 163-177. p 164.
  • <2> Bibliographic reference: Lander, J H & Vellacott, CH. 1907. 'Industries: Iron', in The Victoria County History of Derbyshire, Vol. II. pp 356-362. p 358.
  • <3> Personal Observation: F1 WW 26-APR-60.
  • <4> Bibliographic reference: Hart, C (NDAT). 1981. The North Derbyshire Archaeological Survey to AD 1500. p136.
  • <5> Bibliographic reference: Nixon, F. 1969. The Industrial Archaeology of Derbyshire. p227.
  • <6> Index: NDAT. 0229. 0229.
  • <7> Bibliographic reference: Riden, P. 1985. A Gazetteer of Charcoal Blast Furnace Sites in Great Britain in use since 1660.
  • <8> Unpublished document: Riden, P. 1982. The Charcoal Iron Industry in the East Midlands - A Gazetteer of Sites.
  • <9> Article in serial: Hopkinson, G G. 1961. 'The charcoal iron industry in the Sheffield region 1500-1775', 'Transaction of the Hunter Archaeol. Soc.. Volume 8 (parts 1 to 3), pp 122-151.
  • <10> Article in serial: Mott, R A. 1949-51. 'Early ironmaking in the Sheffield area', Transactions of the Newcomen Society. Volume 27. p 235.



Grid reference Centred SK 347 754 (745m by 233m)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (1)

  • EDR1400

Please contact the HER for details.

External Links (0)

Record last edited

Jan 17 2011 4:17PM

Comments and Feedback

Do you have any more information about this record? Please feel free to comment with information and photographs, or ask any questions, using the "Disqus" tool below. Comments are moderated, and we aim to respond/publish as soon as possible.