Research

Those with research interests in the Wealden iron industry are advised, in the first instance, to consult the standard reference work (26.5Mb), The Iron Industry of the Weald 

An older standard work is Wealden Iron, by Ernest Straker, originally published in 1931. Although inaccurate in some respects and largely superseded by The Iron Industry of the Weald, its gazetteer is still useful. A searchable pdf of Wealden Iron can be downloaded online (119Mb file).  The earliest writing on the industry is the Historical and Archaeological Notices of the Iron Works of the County of Sussex by Mark Antony Lower which was published in Volume 2 of the Sussex Archaeological Collections in 1849. A monograph, The historical geography of the Wealden iron industry, by Mary Cecilia Delany, pub. 1921, draws heavily on Lower’s work and subsequent writers. It can also be read  online.

More specific research enquiries may be directed to members who have specific interests with an email link below or by emailing HERE

THE ROBERTSBRIDGE PROJECT

A research project to investigate the sites and resources associated with the furnace, forge and steelworks at Robertsbridge in East Sussex. For further details follow this link.

MEMBERS’ RESEARCH INTERESTS

This is the beginning of what is hoped will be a comprehensive list of members’ interests; it will be added to over the coming months and years. These members will be pleased to make contact with people having similar interests or who have enquiries on their area of interest. If you have a particular research interested connected with the Wealden iron industry and would like your name and interest added to the table below please contact the Editor

SubjectMember
Air supply problems in furnaces
Iron ore mining
Jonathan Prus
Biographical researchAlan Hayward
Biographical research (Kent)
Edgetool industry, Kent Weald
Tony Singleton
Cast-iron firebacks
18th C Wealden iron industry
Jeremy Hodgkinson
Handcross blast furnace and ironworks (NT Nymans estate) and Challoner interests.
Photography, eg artefact photography, recording digs, sites, etc.
Keith Mason
Hepden family connections to iron sites in Wadhurst/Burwash areaKen Jones
Iron industry in England and Wales generallyPeter King
Iron workers in West Hoathly area
Leonard family in Sussex and connections with iron industry in New England and New Jersey
Christopher Thompson
Landscape Archaeology, Landscape Surveying, prehistoric landscapes, development of Wealden settlementsJudie English
Romano-british bloomeries on the southern side of the High Weald; possible relationships with historic routeways in Danehill, Fletching, Ashdown and Sheffield forest areas; iron related field names(Mrs) Gerry Crawshaw
Gaining better understanding of the past by using business or technical modelling and themic analysis methods on historical records and information.Alan Davies
Experimental bloomery smeltingTim Smith

Any other enquiries can be made by emailing HERE

RESEARCH THESES

WIRG is in the process of putting online theses which have been submitted for further degrees.

CLICK HERE for the four that have been added to the site so far:
We hope more will follow.

1) THE IRON INDUSTRY OF ROMAN BRITAIN
by Henry F Cleere
PhD Thesis, University of London, 1981

2) THE IRON INDUSTRY IN THE WEALD IN THE PERIOD OF THE SEVEN YEARS’ WAR, 1750-1770
by Jeremy Hodgkinson
MA dissertation, University of Brighton, 1993

3. THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPLICATIONS OF ROMANO-BRITISH IRON PRODUCTION IN THE WEALD
by Jaime Kaminski
PhD Thesis, University of Reading, 1995

4. ORGANISATION OF ROMAN IRON PRODUCTION IN THE WEALD
by Ethan Greenwood
PhD Thesis, University of Exeter, 2021

© Wealden Iron Research Group 2000-22.