Gerry McDonnell



The Blast Furnace Period
1577- c.1650

A furnace of a “new fascion” was built in 1577.  It is assumed that this is a full blast furnace or a refinement of an earlier blast furnace.  The slag analyses clearly demonstrates that a blast furnace operated at Rievaulx.  Another forge was built at the site now occupied by Forge Farm to the south of the Abbey.


It is uncertain when the furnace closed but it can be assumed that it operated through the Civil War (1641-51), but probably closed soon after.



Weight of cast iron daily ouput for the Rievaulx Blast Furnace in the campaign of October 1591 to April 1592 (Schubert 1957 401-406)


Lump of cast iron with slag top, the lump produced by digging a spade into the sand bed.  Photo: Author