JiscMail Logo
Email discussion lists for the UK Education and Research communities

Help for IND-ARCH Archives


IND-ARCH Archives

IND-ARCH Archives


IND-ARCH@JISCMAIL.AC.UK


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

IND-ARCH Home

IND-ARCH Home

IND-ARCH  July 2002

IND-ARCH July 2002

Options

Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password

Subject:

Re: WORTLEY TOP FORGE

From:

Peter King <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Peter King <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 14 Jul 2002 16:56:04 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (147 lines)

Wortley Top Forge and the other Wortley ironworks are site of unique
importance for the history of the iron industry in Britain.  Top Forge is
one of the few finery forges that has standing buildings that were in use
when iron was made by the traditional (pre-Industrial Revolution) finery
process,  though the present remains are essentially those of the forge
making iron axles.

Wortley was probably also a forge where puddling was adopted at a
particularly early date for that process.  The evidence for this comes from
a lease of the tinmill site,  rather than from Top Forge.  The works at this
period belonged to the Cockshutt family.   However James Cockshutt was a
partner with Richard Crawshay at Cyfarthfa at Merthyr Tydfil in south Wales
until September 1791.  When the lease of the tinmill was renewed in 1793,
it was described as formerly a tin mill.   An ironworks list of 1790 however
lists it as a tinplate works.  Accordingly it would appear that after James
Cockshutt left Merthyr Tydfil, he came home and converted the tinmill from
rolling tinplate to rolling blooms form Cort's puddling process.

On the other hand, I have not seen any evidence to convince me that any part
of the Wortley Works is quite as early as 1600.  Top and Bottom Forges
certainly predate the Civil War,  but it is not clear by how much.  R.A.
Mott sought to link the wiremills with divers iron smithies in Thurgoland,
Dodworth and Silkstone that were relet in 1621,  but this reference is
inconsistent with what is known of the ownership of the wire mills (though
they were in Thurgoland).  Furthermore wiremills were within the monopoly of
the Company of Mineral and Battery Works,  who were zealous in pursuing
those infringing their patent rights at that period.   Mott's case is
further confused by his introduction of the 'Old Mill',  a corn mill in
Wortley,  and lease of land where there had been smithies (i.e. bloomery
forges),  when the leases are completely silent as to their existence.

Nevertheless,  Wortley is an important site,  and I hope Sheffield Trades
Historical Society have every success in raising money to put the forge on a
sound footing,  preferably as a heritage attraction that can afford to
employ staff and be open more than one day per week (and at other times by
appointment)

Peter King,
49, Stourbridge Road,
Hagley,
Stourbridge
West Midlands
DY9 0QS

telephone 01562-720368
----- Original Message -----
From: Dr. Chris Morley <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: 13 July 2002 07:49
Subject: WORTLEY TOP FORGE


Hello there,

The South Yorkshire Industrial History Society was founded in 1933, as the
Society for the Preservation of Old Sheffield Trades and later known as The
Sheffield Trades Historical Society,  therefore, next year, 2003, we
commemorate the 70th. anniversary of our foundation. The year also sees the
50th. anniversary of the purchase and taking into care by the Society of the
Wortley Top Forge.

The latter was the derelict site of a wrought iron forge operated by
water-wheel driven forging hammers and furnace blast-making equipment that
had, since its closure as a forge in 1908, been used as a storage area, a
stable, and for various other purposes. The buildings were in great
disrepair
and tumbledown. The heavy forging hammers were, although still recognisable,
overgrown and unworkable. The water wheels were rotten and silted up, as
were
the leats and water courses from the river Don and associated dams.

However, members of the Society recognised the importance of the site as
being probably the last remnant of a once great industry, and that the
remains of the equipment were irreplaceable relics. Money was raised to
initially lease the site, and then to purchase it, and work commenced, by
volunteers and dedicated - what we now call - conservationists to renovate
and preserve the buildings, the water wheels, the hammers, and other
equipment. Examples of railway wheels and axles were begged from owners such
as the National Railway Museum in order to be able to demonstrate the last
use of the forge before its closure - the manufacture of Wortley railway
axles.

It should be said that the Top Forge was the only one of six works that
straggled the valley of the river Don to form the Wortley Iron Works that
could be preserved. In total the Iron Works consisted, in 1888, of two wire
works, a tilt and slitting mill, the Top Forge, the Low Forge rolling mill,
and an erstwhile Tin Mill with a sheet rolling mill, the earliest of which
was founded in 1600.

The Wortley Top Forge is situated about ten miles north of Sheffield
following the A61 out of the City and by then following the A629 towards
Huddersfield. Go through Wortley village and turn left at the traffic lights
in the village of Thurgoland. The Forge lies on the left after passing under
the disused railway bridge. We open the Forge to visitors on every Sunday
between the hours of ten am. and four pm. except in January when we close
for
the month.

Much work and money, equivalent to almost 1,000,000, has been spent upon
the
preservation of the Top Forge. The site now forms a very unique, true, and
'working' restored heavy iron forge housed in period buildings with attached
workshops, workmen's cottages, water courses, and dam.

The aims of the Society, and the Trust that is responsible for its
management, is to preserve the Forge, install and preserve examples of later
forging techniques and machinery, and to enable the site to become an
educational and heritage centre for an old South Yorkshire industry and
associated Sheffield trades. In March 1994 the Institution of Mechanical
Engineers presented a Heritage Hallmark Plaque to Wortley Top Forge.

We are conscious that the site lacks the modern amenities required by a
21st.
century Museum Site of importance. Toilets are antiquated, a visitor centre
and refreshment facilities are now a 'must'. Improved, and discreet
explanation and interpretation boards are necessary. And these must be paid
for. We are, therefore appealing for funds and donations.

But, more importantly, volunteers are also desperately needed, to act as
guides, to dismantle, renovate, and rebuild donated equipment, operate
machine tools, do some bricklaying and other building work for maintenance.
Attendance is required for several fixed Sundays a year, or for every Sunday
if people could spare the time. Skills are not necessary in every case,
although people with specialist skills and knowledge will be more than
welcome. Heavy lifting equipment and carrying vehicles are available on site
and these are maintained and insured, as, indeed are all our visitors and
volunteers. Volunteers are also invited to carry out an ecological
investigation of the site, its surrounding woodland, its field, dam, and
water courses. The last one undertaken was held more than twenty years ago
by
a local naturalist but his records have been mislaid.

We currently have just over 2000 visitors a year the majority of whom are
ordinary people, two or three hundred come as organised trips from learned
and interested bodies and societies, and we hope to attract more, especially
children and teenagers from local schools and colleges.

What we are looking for is publicity, especially in the run-up to our
jubilee's year We are a volunteer organization looking after an
internationally recognised Heritage site and an important industrial relic.
Please can you help us?

Yours very sincerely,

Christopher C. Morley
President, South Yorkshire Industrial Hstory Society.

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

JiscMail Tools


RSS Feeds and Sharing


Advanced Options


Archives

December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
March 2019
February 2019
December 2018
October 2018
August 2018
July 2018
May 2018
March 2018
February 2018
December 2017
October 2017
September 2017
July 2017
June 2017
April 2017
February 2017
December 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
December 2014
November 2014
September 2014
July 2014
May 2014
April 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
June 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
April 2010
March 2010
January 2010
December 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
February 2008
October 2007
July 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
December 2006
October 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
February 2006
December 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
August 2001
July 2001
June 2001
May 2001
April 2001
March 2001
February 2001
January 2001
December 2000
November 2000
October 2000
September 2000
August 2000
July 2000
June 2000
May 2000
April 2000
March 2000
February 2000
January 2000
December 1999
November 1999
October 1999
September 1999
August 1999
July 1999
June 1999
May 1999
April 1999
March 1999
February 1999
January 1999
December 1998
November 1998
October 1998
September 1998


JiscMail is a Jisc service.

View our service policies at https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/policyandsecurity/ and Jisc's privacy policy at https://www.jisc.ac.uk/website/privacy-notice

Secured by F-Secure Anti-Virus CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager