Following the Repair Project detailed below, it is hoped that the previously excavated furnace will be revealed at a later date and a covered area provided for visiting groups as well as pathways for safe access between the two spillways for visitors.
Nature walks could be created in the surrounding woodland and existing ancillary buildings further investigated. Interpretation of the site, explaining the history and technical aspects of the industry would be located at appropriate positions.
Repair Project 2021-2022
The Repair Project, towards which we have been working for over 30
years, has now been carried out and completed in May 2022, with
funding provided by Historic England, South Downs National Park,
Wealden Iron Research Group and the two landowners.
Surprisingly it is the water, one reason why this site was chosen originally for a furnace, which has become the major enemy. The water controls for both sluices have been completely replaced and the archaeology in the northern stream capped to prevent further erosion. At the southern end the eastern wall which was leaning at a 10 degree angle has been rebuilt to ensure that the dam which carries the public bridleway and contains the pond water is not compromised.
For details of the Repair Project in Pictures see:- Furnace Repair Project 2022 in Pictures
For a record of the Repair Project see: - Repair Project Updates 01 to 07 on Newsletters/AGM webpage.
Investigation works carried out in June 2019
A programme of investigation works has taken place to provide the conservation team with vital information about the archaeology and structure of this threatened Scheduled Ancient Monument. North Park Furnace (Fernhurst Furnace) dates from the middle of the 16th century, it closed in 1776 and is one of the best surviving charcoal blast furnaces from the Wealden Iron Industry.
This work is in preparation for an urgent repair project to stabilise the dam to protect the archaeology and prevent the risk of flooding downstream.
To find out more come to Open Weekend at the Furnace - See Event Page for details.