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Excavation at New Weir Iron Works, Symonds Yat West

Between April and May 2009, Herefordshire Archaeology carried out a four week season of excavation at New Weir Iron Works at Symonds Yat West.

The aim of the excavation was to try to identify areas where specific processes were taking place, to examine the evidence of those processes and to get some idea of how the site functioned. Little work has been carried out on forges of this date so the information gained will be an important addition to industrial studies both locally and nationally. At the same time information will be forthcoming about how well the site is preserved and its importance in terms of its preservation for the future. This information will therefore feed into the long-term management of the site and into its interpretation.

The site was in use from at least the 1590s up until the 1800s. It was known to be a forge for refining iron from nearby furnaces and to have incorporated a slitting mill, probably for nail and/or wire production, and later a rolling mill. The various forges, mills and hammers were powered by water wheels.

The project is an element of the "Overlooking the Wye" project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. This Landscape Partnership Scheme was designed to improve and promote enjoyment, understanding, accessibility, involvement, conservation and management of the historic environment in the landscape of the lower Wye Valley.

A further season of excavations is due to take place in May 2010. If you would like more information, please contact Peter Dorling on 01432 383238, or e-mail


Last Updated: 16/03/2010 16:43:52