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The Iron and Steel Industries of the Derwent Valley: A Historical Archaeology by John Bowman PhD, Newcastle 2018

From Slitting Mill to Alloy Steel: the Development of Swalwell Ironworks  by David Cranstone. Industrial Archaeology Review, 33: 1, 2001

Early Tyneside Industrialism: the Lower Derwent and Blaydon Burn Valleys 1550-1700. Eric Clavering and Alan Rounding.  Archaeologia Aeliana 5 XXIII. P.249-268

The slitting mill was a water mill used for slitting bars of iron into rods.  It is likely to have been invented in Liege, Belgium; the first one in England was built in Kent in 1590.

Until 1703, Ambrose Crowley was relying on mills in the Midlands, but when he decided to build his own, the fast-flowing River Derwent in the valley below Winlaton provided the perfect site.

Extracts from 'Crowley's Mill No.1.' by Colin Douglas & Noel Adamson.

Click here to see a computer animation of how the Slitting Mill might have looked inside.

Click here to watch a film about the story of iron and steel-making in Consett

History of Consett Steelworks website

Digital Voice film The Last Chain

Click here to see photographs of Winlaton Forge


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