Backbarrow Ironworks, Cumbria



Date Visited: October 2007

There's been a furnace on this site since 1711, to smelt the haematite ore that would have been mined elsewhere in Cumbria, and brought to the quays in Haverthwaite before being transported to Backbarrow by horse and cart. This would later have been done by railway as the Furness Railway branch to Lakeside (Now the Lakeside & Haverthwaite Heritage Line) runs past the site, and the 1890 OS map of Backbarrow shows sidings running into the storage depot across the road from the ironworks site.
I've seen various dates as to when the Ironworks closed, although I've most confidence in the one which states 1967.

An excellent collection of old photographs can be found here: http://heritagephotoarchive.co.uk/p113804715

Most of the site was cleared long ago, and there are only a few buildings left. The rest of the site is now being developed, and the old buildings will be stabilised as part of the deal by the developers. The site is historically significant, and is on the English Heritage at risk register, as it's in a right state.