Monday, February 12, 2007

Finds from Bridgnorth

Whilst the snow and rain have been driving down outside, post-excavation work for the Bridgnorth evaluation has been going on inside. Here is a selection of some of the finds...

A rather gaudy selection showing the wide range of ceramics dumped in the river bylet.

Some lovely late 17th century slipware.

A selection of 19th century glass bottles, including Wollstein, Ironbridge (centre).

Malthouse drying floor tiles, 19th century. The '4-hole' design to the rear is probably the earliest.

Maws 'sandwich' encaustic tile, dated to between 1860 and 1870 and made at their works in Benthall.

The back of the tile - confirming the date range before the move to their Jackfield works in 1883.

Many thanks to Dr. Tony Herbert and Michael Vanns for information on the Maws Tile.

Friday, February 09, 2007

More snow

As promised, here are some more pictures of Coalbrookdale and Ironbridge in the snow. These photos were taken on Thursday...

Dale House (left) and Rosehill House, built by the Darby family in the early 18th century, and overlooking the Upper Furnace Pool. The arch in the foreground is part of the railway viaduct of 1864.

Unusual view across the Upper Furnace Pool, with the top of the furnace cover building peeping up above the dam wall.

View through the trees on towards the Great Warehouse (Museum of Iron).

Established 298 years ago. The giant wheel is part of the Godalming Water Turbine.

View upriver with the Ironbridge power station looming in the distance.

The Iron Bridge, looking upstream from Severn Bank.

Cottages on the north bank of the River.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


The widely-forecast snow has actually arrived. So here are some photographs of some of the Museum's buildings and monuments in the snow...

View from the archaeology office window in the Long Warehouse. Outside is the 'Great Warehouse' of the Coalbrookdale Company, now the Museum of Iron. The warehouse was built in 1838 and the clock tower was added in 1843.

The Upper Forge was in use from the 16th and 17th centuries. These surviving buildings are 18th century.

The recently-restored overflow sluices from the former Upper Forge Pool.

Rose Cottage, near the site of the former Middle Forge. The cottages were built in the 1640s.

It is still snowing now (late morning), so more photos will be taken this afternoon and will no doubt appear here in due course.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Darby Furnace Beam

In 1972 the outer lamination of one of the beams to the Darby Furnace was in a poor state of repair and was 'rescued'. It was taken to the then Ancient Monuments Laboratory (AML) of the Department of the Environment (Ministry of Works). The former AML is now the English Heritage Centre for Archaeology, and is situated at Fort Cumberland in Portsmouth.

During a recent clear-out the box containing the beam fragments was discovered. This week Paul went down to collect the remains and repatriate them! Due to their fragile nature a full photographic record was made of all of the bits.

Not a promising start - rather tired packaging full of rust!

...and more rust!

Rather fragmented slice of metal, but is that an 'A' at the end?

and then we have a '...BRAHAM'

and finally a 'DARBY 1777' came out of the box!

The fragments were carefully repacked before being driven 'home' to Ironbridge...

Slightly more modern materials used, and carefully wedged together!

Many thanks to Justine Bayley, Vanessa Fell and the staff at the Centre for Archaeology in Portsmouth.