The Land of Oak & Iron

Derwentcote Steel Furnace

fri09jun11:00 AMfri12:00 AMDerwentcote Steel FurnaceWith English Heritage

Event Details

Find out how iron was turned into steel hundreds of years ago at Derwentcote Steel Furnace with English Heritage.

Built around 1730, Derwentcote is the earliest and most complete steel-making furnace in Britain. It produced high-grade steel for springs and cutting tools.

A rare opportunity to see inside this 18th century furnace which is a Grade 1 Listed Building and is one of the few remaining examples of this type of furnace in the country. Learn how wrought iron was turned into steel through the cementation process; this is the last remaining piece of evidence of cementation steel making in the north east.

Visitors can expect to be taken on a journey through history to the hey-day of Derwentcote Steel Furnace. The tours offer visitors the opportunity to access usually closed aspects of the site, including a tour of the archaeological remains of various iron/steel works. Access to the interior of the conical furnace building, a crucible furnace, worker’s cottages and water wheel, also exploring the site’s handling collection, including original objects found at the site.

The free guided walks programme is run by a team of dedicated, knowledgeable and friendly Volunteer Guides.

Dates available:

  • 11:00 am Friday 19th May
  • 11:00 am Friday 9th June
  • 11:00 am Saturday 1st July
  • 11:00 am Sunday 9th July
  • 11:00 am Monday 24th July
  • 11:00 am Saturday 5th August
  • 11:00 am Sunday 20th August

The meeting point for all tours is at the entrance gate to Derwentcote Steel Furnace, Forge Lane, Hamsterley, Rowlands Gill, Tyne and Wear, NE17 7RS.

Tours will not go ahead in inclement weather, the woodland track can be uneven and is unsuitable for pushchairs, we advise appropriate footwear as it can be slippery and muddy underfoot. Please see the English Heritage website for parking information.

All tours start at 11am and last approx. 45 minutes, with time at the end for visitors to independently enjoy the exhibition on display inside the furnace building.

For queries or group bookings please email: [email protected]

Find out more: Derwentcote Steel Furnace | English Heritage (


(Friday) 11:00 AM - 12:00 AM


Derwentcote Steel Furnace


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The Land of Oak & Iron