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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.

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