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Viewing swaag.org website implies consent to set cookies on your computer. Full details Swaledale and Arkengarthdale Archaeology Group
Registered Charitable Incorporated Organisation Number 1155775
SWAAG Honorary President:
Tim Laurie FSA

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 *****SWAAG_ID***** 791
 Date Entered 27/03/2014
 Updated on 27/03/2014
 Recorded by Tim Laurie
 Category Mining Related
 Record Type Industrial Archaeology
 Site Access Public Access Land
 Record Date 26/03/2014
 Location Coverdale. Gammersgill, Spring Wood, South side of Turn Beck.
 Civil Parish Not known
 Brit. National Grid 
 Altitude 330m AOD
 Geology Glacial Drift over the Underset Limestone.
 Record Name Large iron bloomery site above the south bank of Turn Beck within Spring Wood, an extensive area of managed ancient alder coppice woodland
 Record Description Large horseshoe shaped mound of iron slag approximately size 10m*10m*1.2m high overall. This mound, which is entirely vegetated with bright green turf, is very conspicuous among the Juncus diffusus marsh. The slag heap marks the presence of an iron smelting industry within an area with many ancient coppiced alders known as Spring Wood. This Iron Bloomery Site may well have used charcoal from the nearby alder coppice woodland however no charcoal pits or platforms have been recognised within the area on the OS Map marked Spring Wood so far. Alders survive today only at stream sides lower down and within the steep sided Gills, during the Medieval Period of iron smelting the whole area would have been wooded.
 Dimensions 10m *10m *1.2m high overall. Approx.
 Additional Notes Similar iron bloomery mounds are frequent in Upper Teesdale where they have been dated to the 12C (Gledhill, 2002) and in Weardale. Bloomery sites are rather scarce throughout Wensleydale and Swaledale where iron bloomery sites may be associated with farmstead settlements of Early Medieval Date. Reference: Gledhill, T. 2002. 'Investigation of Early Iron Working in Upper Teesdale.' Privately Published.
 Image 1 ID 5265         Click image to enlarge
 Image 1 Description The prominent green turf covered mound of iron slag is a horseshoe shaped discard heap located around a small centrally located bowl furnace.
 Image 2 ID 5266         Click image to enlarge
 Image 2 Description The mound is located above Turn Beck, note the alders lower downstream
 Image 3 ID 5267         Click image to enlarge
 Image 3 Description View eastward.
 Image 4 ID 5268         Click image to enlarge
 Image 4 Description View southward. Coverdale in distance.
 Image 5 ID 5269         Click image to enlarge
 Image 5 Description View southward. Coverdale in distance.
 Image 6 ID 5270         Click image to enlarge
 Image 6 Description Alderwood survives today only at stream sides and within steep sided ravines.
 Image 7 ID 5271         Click image to enlarge
 Image 7 Description 
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