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Ore Extraction and Smelting at Darley

Moorcock Lane lies across the middle of this photograph and the spoil heaps of ancient mining and quarrying are clearly visible above it in the evening sunshine of a winter day. There are the remains of a blast furnace and its charging ramp in the trees at the centre of the photograph.

It is likely that iron extraction and smelting ceased in the early years of the 17th century.

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The photographs below show two views of the blast furnace as it was in 2008. The road from Darley to Otley is visible in the the background of the first and the second is the view of the furnace from Moorcock Lane, a clear view in winter but it is obscured in summer when the trees are in leaf.


The photograph on the right shows the furnace in 2014, now partially reconstructed following a collapse during severe winter weather two or three years ago.

The gorse in the foreground is growing on an earthern ramp that originally gave access to the top of the furnace to allow it to be charged with iron ore and charcoal.