"Out of the Weald, the secret Weald,
Men sent in ancient years,
The horse-shoes red at Flodden Field
The arrows at Poitiers!"
from Puck's Song, Rudyard Kipling
Iron was made in the Weald from pre-Roman times until the beginning of the 19th century. Its legacy is recalled by a host of place names, such as Minepit Wood and Forge Lane, by the hammer and furnace ponds which survive in the landscape, and by the cast-iron graveslabs and firebacks that can be seen, respectively, in Wealden churches and farmhouses. During the first part of the Roman occupation, and again, in the 16th and early-17th centuries, the Weald was the most important iron-producing region in the British Isles. Over 800 iron-making sites have been identified in the Weald, and more are discovered each year. Since 1968 when it was established, much of this work has been carried out by the Wealden Iron Research Group (WIRG).
© Wealden Iron Research Group 2000-16.