4. Steel-Historic Duddon Bridge Furnace

A wonderful site of industrial archaeology, Duddon Furnace in South Cumbria, UK. Built in 1736 it operated as a charcoal burning iron Blast Furnace until 1867. Once overgrown with weeds and brambles, I used to play here as a child. Now a Grade II listed building and managed by English Heritage it has been cleaned and excellently preserved, thank goodness, unlike lots of our long lost industrial heritage. 


The woods around Duddon Bridge in Cumbria provided charcoal and water, with iron ore from the richest seam of ore in the world only a few miles away at Haverigg. The pig iron made here was shipped to Chepstow and Bristol to manufacture chains and anchors for ships before closure in 1867.

I remember the site being completely wild in the 1950s, a great place for adventurous kids to play, all you needed was a bit of imagination and the furnace stack was King Arthur’s castle!


The place is completely free to visit and well worth it if you are around the Cumbrian West Coast, you can park right outside and stroll around the stack and charcoal barn.






14 thoughts on “4. Steel-Historic Duddon Bridge Furnace

    1. Millom a very strange place, Haverigg less so, more like a coastal village. But the whole area had died as per one of my earlier posts in this series. Everyone with any level of education moves away, even if only towards Sellafield the only real employer, or Barrow.


        1. No different, I still liken it to one of those Western movies with tumbleweed blowing down the Main Street. It’s why I’m so angry over the Ironworks and Hodbarrow Mine not being preserved as an industrial museum, they were both quite famous for different reasons and it would have brought lots of tourists to the area. It’s also the home of the poet Norman Nicholson who got close to becoming poet laureate in 1960s. I’m a member of the NN Society and we’re currently trying to buy up his old house and turn it into a small residential study centre for young poets.


        2. Easy for me, I lived there! His wife was one of my teachers at Millom School. He wrote poems and books mostly about social history of the area. If you search his name on my blog you’ll find a few posts about him.


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