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Report - - Backbarrow Ironworks, Cumbria, Aug 2013 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Backbarrow Ironworks, Cumbria, Aug 2013



Keynsham

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
#1
This was the site of a charcoal blast furnace which lasted 250 years so I will try to be brief with the history:
Built 1711
Rebuilt 1770
Bought by Harrison Ainslie 1824.
Harrison Ainslie bankrupt in 1903 and 1918
Reopened as the Charcoal Iron Co in 1918. Among other things they made Valley brand cold blast pig iron:
Backbarrow3_zpsf6433f61.jpg

which went into rollers like this:
Backbarrow4_zpsea3d97a1.jpg

Closed 1967.
In 1982 the site was used as a depot for the new gas pipeline and much damage was done.
In 1990 there was a proposal to preserve the furnace and build light industrial units on the site. This was rejected by the neighbours who did not want nasty industry near their holliday homes.
In 2005 the phrase was "live-work units" and 18 of these things got built before the developer went bankrupt in 2007.
Finally in 2009 there were the floods which washed away the parapets of Backbarrow bridge along with any hopes of selling the "live-work units".
Meanwhile the furnace stack continues to crumble, the engine house roof fell in and the moulding shop breeds woodworm.
Backbarrow025_zps4d48691b.jpg

The charcoal barn. In 1889 they used 58 ton/wk of charcoal and 35 tons/wk of ore to make 28 tons of pig iron. Charcoal is light, ore is heavy so most charcoal furnaces have huge charcoal barns and tiny ore bunkers. Backbarrow is the opposite. The ore bunkers are now fenced off.
"The present Company, the Charcoal Iron Company Ltd, was formed in 1918 and has, from that date, carried on the manufacture of cold blast pig iron which is supplied to the Chilled Roll Trade and various other makers of Chilled Castings, etc. The furnace is still blown by cold blast supplied by hydro-electric blowers driven by the River Leven, which drains Lake Windermere.
It is interesting to note that, at one time, the furnace was also used as the village bakery"

Backbarrow005_zps9eb16029.jpg

The generator for the hydro-electricity
Backbarrow009_zpsa824fed1.jpg

Outfall from the turbine
Backbarrow008_zpsa5081ba6.jpg

Wooden templates for sand moulds
Backbarrow1_zps82a4067d.jpg


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That was the nearest I could get to match the 1930s photo.
Backbarrow016_zps8f288462.jpg

The blowing engine. It is a single cylinder engine, the green thing in the foreground is the blowing cylinder.
What a clever way to remove asbestos! Wait for the roof to fall in and let the wind blow it away!
Backbarrow018_zpsc4f8d99e.jpg

Boiler feed pump.
Backbarrow012_zps073cb21a.jpg

The furnace stack
Backbarrow022_zps73249c88.jpg

Boiler house
Backbarrow023_zps38070f67.jpg


Backbarrow020_zpsdc7db144.jpg

Live-work units
Backbarrow028_zpsd053d103.jpg

Hurry, Hurry!!! Only 18 left.
 
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