Venture into the woods opposite Allensford Country Park to discover a hidden relic of the industrial past. The blast furnace was used around 1700 and is the earliest surviving ore roasting furnace in Britain; once extracted the iron was sent to a steel forge further downstream which supplied the Shotley Bridge sword makers. Enjoy a beautiful walk from the furnace along the Northumberland side of the river Derwent to Shotley Bridge, look out for the Crown & Crossed Swords and Cutlers’ Hall Road, reminders of the sword making industry which thrived here.
Find the Furnace:
Park at Allensford Country Park and walk towards the A68, cross the river on the A68 road bridge heading towards Northumberland. Walk past the cottages on the right, take the public footpath immediately on the left of the drive which goes behind the cottages. Follow this through the woods for about 400 metres, the steps down will be on your right.