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Monument record MDR6498 - Whaley Blast Furnace, east of Scarcliffe Park, Scarcliffe

Type and Period (3)

  • (Jacobean to Georgian - 1617 AD to 1770 AD?)
  • (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)
  • (Post Medieval - 1540 AD to 1900 AD)

Protected Status/Designation

  • None recorded

Full Description

(SK 52457035) 'Whaley Furnace' is depicted on the OS map of 1840. (1) In the seventeenth century a blast furnace was erected at Whaley, which was still at work in 1717. (2) According to Farey, writing in c. 1811: 'Until about 40 years ago, small Furnaces and Bloomeries, heated by Charcoal of Wood, were alone used, for the making of either Cast or Bar Iron in Derbyshire and Yorkshire. At Wingerworth one of these Charcoal Furnaces continued in some use, blown by means of a Water-wheel, until the year 1781 … and at Whalley in Bolsover, another was used until about the year 1770'. (3) No remains of a blast furnace were located. Mr Blytham, (local historian) said that the iron-workers lived in Furnace Cottages (SK 52437032) now partly demolished, and that the fuel was obtained from Scarcliffe Park. (4) Marked as 'Old Forge' on Sanderson's map of 1835, which shows one or more buildings with a pond to the west. (5) A building named as 'Scarcliffe Furnace' is shown on the 1st ed. OS map, with the pond marked 'mill pond'. (6) A diminution of the amount of cordwood available to ironmasters for making into charcoal in the early 18th century may have resulted in the shutting down of many iron furnaces. Documentary evidence shows that Whaley Furnace was only in blast twice in the period 1750-65. (7) A blast furnace was established on the Earl of Kingston's estate at Whaley in 1617. It is mentioned in a survey of Scarsdale Hundred of 1652 and on the list of 1717, in which it appears as Wanley, with an output of 300 tons a year. Farey describes the furnace as being at 'Whalley in Bolsover', although it was in Scarcliffe parish, and suggests that it closed in about 1777. The site is named and marked on Burdett's map of Derbyshire (1762-7). The area around the furnace was completely altered in the 19th century by railway construction and it is not clear whether the site was ever re-used. (8)

Sources/Archives (8)

  • <1> Map: David & Charles edition, Sheet 28. 1840. OS 1" map, Chesterfield. Surveyed 1837-1839, with later revisions.. 1" to the mile.
  • <2> Article in serial: Jenkins, R. 1933-34. 'Historical notes on some Derbyshire industries', Transactions of the Newcomen Society. pp 163-177. p 165.
  • <3> Bibliographic reference: Farey, J. 1811. A General View of the Agriculture and Minerals of Derbyshire, Vol. 1. pp 395-6.
  • <4> Personal Observation: F1 BHS 21-OCT-65.
  • <5> Map: Sanderson, G. 1835. Twenty Miles round Mansfield.
  • <6> Map: Ordnance Survey (OS). 1882. OS County Series, 1st edition, scale 1:2500 (c. 25" to one mile).
  • <7> 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. p 133.
  • <8> Bibliographic reference: Riden, P. 1993. A Gazetteer of Charcoal-fired Blast Furnaces in Great Britain in use since 1660. 2nd ed.. p 95.



Grid reference Centred SK 5235 7042 (252m by 134m) Approximate

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Events/Activities (2)

  • EDR3523
  • EDR1292

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External Links (0)

Record last edited

Jan 16 2024 5:58PM

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