THE WHITECLIFF IRONWORKS

Scheduled Monument No 1021420

Location NGR: SO 56870 10149

Address 1 Whitecliff, Coleford GL16 8NB, UK

Rescue and conservation

The ironworks ceased work around 1816 and began to deteriorate from then on. In 1978, the ruin was under threat and a small, local trust was formed to purchase the furnace to prevent its loss. Acting as a sub-committee of the Historical Metallurgy Society, five stages of emergency repairs were made. In 1984 the rest of the site was purchased by Dean Heritage Museum Trust.

 

Major archaeological work was undertaken but no further conservation repairs took place until 2010-11. New impetus came from the Heritage Lottery funded Landscape Partnership Project: Overlooking the Wye which completed a massive conservation repair of the furnace and stabilised its lining. Information panels were also added.

 

In 2012 the entire site was gifted to the newly formed Forest of Dean Buildings Preservation Trust. Since then the Trust has initiated a structural engineering survey of the site and undertaken a major conservation repair to the third charging bridge.

The Trust is very grateful to the Wye Valley AONB, English Heritage and the Forest of Dean Local Action Programme for funding that work.

 

In 2014-16 the Trust has repaired the ancient culvert that carries a major brook across the site and landscaped the road frontage with railings and a footpath to improve the setting of the Monument. The generous funding for this from the Gloucestershire Environmental Trust is warmly appreciated. The site is now about 80% conserved and it attracts a steady stream of visitors. Outstanding tasks include conserving the ruins of the engine house, a high retaining wall and upgrading the Furnace Cottage.

Reg. Charity No. 114775. A company limited by guarantee No. 6859885.

Registered Office: Security Office, Whitecliff Quarry, Coleford, GL16 8NB