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Description: Wortley Top Forge
Date Listed: 18 March 1968
English Heritage Building ID: 333829
OS Grid Reference: SK2944699872
OS Grid Coordinates: 429446, 399872
Latitude/Longitude: 53.4947, -1.5576
This building is also a scheduled monument.
SK49NE HUNSHELF COTE LANE
11/49 Wortley Top Forge
Forge. C17 origin, mid C18 mid C19 structure and form with mid C19 functional layout
and alterations, re-roofed 1880, C20 restoration. Tooled, squared stone, rubble
to rear, Welsh slate upper roof, stone slate lower roof. Rectangular plan with
continuous rear outshut with additional housing the blower wheel, and pits to front
right and front centre for wheels 1 and 2 respectively. The front wall has a large
round-arched opening for each wheel, each with a single, flanking square-headed
smaller doorway. At high level are 3 square window openings. Set back to the left,
built into the cottages (q.v), is a 2-bay arcade with brick voussoirs supported
on 2 cast-iron round columns. On one pier is a re-set stone inscribed 'M 1713 W'
(Mathew Wilson, manager). Central raised roof section. Rear: the blower wheel
to left works through a round arch with brick voussoirs.
Interior: the rear wall is opened-up by 4 large segmental arches with brick voussoirs.
In situ machinery includes: wheel 1: one-piece iron casting (wooden paddles missing)
probably replacing an earler wooden wheel, 12 feet in diameter, breast-shot and
with a cast-iron axle. Wheel 2: installed mid C19; cast-iron with separate felloes
and later wooden paddles, 13½ feet in diameter, breast-shot. The blower wheel:
cast-iron with wooden buckets, fed pitch-back by a cast-iron pentrough dated 1850;
it was used to blow air to the furnaces for welding. Hammer 1, of C18 type: massive
wooden construction, with cast-iron replacement parts, operated by a cam to the
underside of the helve, fitted with wooden spring beam. Hammer 2, of mid C19 type:
cast-iron, driven by a cam to the underside of the helve. Four wooden jib cranes
one at each hammer and 2 at the entrance.
A bloomery existed on the site in the early C17 and a finery in the mid C17. A
lease was granted in 1640; in 1658 John Spencer acquired the lease and from then
until 1746 the forge was run by Spencer partnerships. Subsequent owners included
the Cockshutts, 1746-1819, Thos Andrews II 1871-1907, and The Wortley Iron Co.
The Sheffield Trades Historical Society purchased the forge in 1953.
From c1840 the forge successfully produced railway axles, forge-welded from nine
wrought-iron bars; it was last used in 1912.
A scheduled Ancient Monument.
D Crossley, "Wortley Top Froge", Archaeological Journal, Vol 137, 1980 p86.
M P Johnson and P Worrall, Top Forge, Wortley, undated official guidebook.
Listing NGR: SK2944699872
This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.
Source: English Heritage
Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.