Photo Archive: Minepit Copse, Fernhurst – iron ore pits

Minepit Copse (SU 8730 2820), as the name suggests, was one of the areas where iron ore was dug from shaft pits to supply North Park Furnace. Earlier writers have called these ‘bell pits’, but that is a misnomer as they do not widen towards the bottom. In the Weald they were traditionally referred to as ‘minepits’, a term which should be perpetuated. It is not known when, during the period the furnace was active (1614-1776), these pits were dug. Previously woodland, the copse was clear felled and these images, from an overflying drone, show the scarring caused by the ore extraction and the subsequent back-filling of the pits.

We are grateful to Fernhurst Furnace Preservation Group for permission to use these photographs.