NI Logo 2+T Adit-&-Pit-IMG_5622a 2

Water Powered Forges in Kirkby Overblow

Water power was used in the medieval era to repeatedly hammer the heated blooms to force out the trapped slag and to forge the wrought iron into the form that was required. This may have been rod or bar or finished products that could have been anything from nails to weapons.


One of the most likely water courses to have been harnessed for this purpose is Park Beck that runs eastward to the north of the village of Kirkby Overblow, it has a good fall and a relatively large watershed and it would have been capable of providing the power that was required for forging in medieval times. This is much less than most modern industrial applications required.


A recent investigation has revealed several points where the beck has been harnessed for power in ways that would have been appropriate for the local iron industry. The evidence includes ponds, leats and features that could have been wheel pits, the structures that supported water wheels.


More fieldwork is required to establish a link with iron working but there is a high probability this will prove to be the case.

HLFNL_2747 ,48cm KO-Pond-IMG_0774

A Pond on Park Beck