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.