The Land of Oak & Iron

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Derwentcote Steel Furnace

sun20aug11:00 AMsun12:00 AMDerwentcote Steel FurnaceEnglish Heritage

Event Details

Built around 1730, Derwentcote is the earliest and most complete steel-making furnace in Britain. Join English Heritage volunteers for their open day to explore the conical furnace building, with demonstrations and short walking tours also available on the day.

This rare furnace played a crucial role in the British steel industry for about 150 years. Built around 1730, it converted wrought iron, imported from Sweden, into ‘blister’ steel to be made into cutting tools. As part of a network of iron and steel producers along the Derwent Valley, Derwentcote Furnace helped to produce the finest steel in Europe and to power the early Industrial Revolution. It is one of the last surviving pieces of evidence for cementation steelmaking in north-east England.

The free guided walk programme is run by English Heritage’s team of dedicated and knowledgeable Volunteer Guides. Key features of the tours include a handling collection, a tour the interior of the conical furnace building, which has been previously closed to the public, and a tour of the archaeological remains of various iron/steel works – including a crucible furnace, worker’s cottages and water wheel. 

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 and chat with guides. Pre-booking is no longer required. 


  • Monday 28th August
  • Sunday 1st October
  • Saturday 7th October
  • Monday 16th October
  • Saturday 4th November
  • Saturday 18th November
  • Friday 1st December
  • Saturday 3rd February
  • Friday 9th February 
  • Sunday 18th February
  • Monday 19th February
  • Sunday 25th February

Please note: In very inclement weather the tour may not go ahead and if the site is icy, then the tour may be shortened slightly. 

Access: The grounds are very uneven, and not suitable for wheelchair and pushchair users. Parking: There is a car park on the opposite side of the A694. The car park is signposted. Please take care when crossing the road.

For queries please email: [email protected]


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


Derwentcote Steel Furnace


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The Land of Oak & Iron