A survey of iron and steel making sites in the Tyne-Wear area of the United Kingdom

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 76, No. 854, 1983

R.F. TYLECOTE, The Historical Metallurgy Society United Kingdom

The closure of the iron and steel making plant at Consett in Durham in 1980 marked the end of an era—a long era in the world's iron and steel making history. Iron had been smelted in the Tyne- Wear area of the United Kingdom since before the Roman period, but apart from evidence of smithing in the Roman period, the historical evidence for iron production on a large scale dates from the 14th century. The paper describes sites in the area that first worked the bloomery process and then, in the 16th century, as did most of Europe, graduated to the blastfurnace process. The main emphasis is on the early introduction of coal to iron making at the end of the 18th century and the use of the steam engine to render integrated sites possible.