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Site Name: Glazier's (Brightling) Forge OS Reference: TQ 6510 2130
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Parish: Brightling Former Parish:
Hundred: Netherfield District: Rother
County: East Sussex River Basin: Rother
Site Type: Forge Period: Modern
Century: 18, 17, 16 Geology: Ashdown Beds, Purbeck Beds
Geology notes:
Earliest known date: 1548 Latest known date: 1785
Dating evidence: In 1548 Thomas Glasier left 6s. 8d. to 'every one of the workmen' of his forge (TNA PROB 11/32/29) and, around the same time, there were chancery proceedings between John Glasyer, Thomas's son and executor, and Nicholas Polham [Pelham] over the water supply to the forge (TNA C 1/1225/11). In the 1574 list Thomas Stollyon worked the forge for Sir John Pelham. Throughout the seventeenth century and until 1716 the Pelhams operated Brightling and Bivelham forges using pig iron from Waldron furnace (BL, Add Mss 33154-6). In 1642-3 sows from Rushlake Furnace were brought to Brightling (BL, Add Ms 33155, f.21v). The forge was listed in 1653 and 1667. 120 tons was the output of bar iron in the 1640s, mainly shipped from Pevensey, but by 1717 output was 40 tons, a figure repeated for 1736. Between 1690 and 1716 it had supplied local blacksmiths with bar iron. It was marked on Budgen's map of 1724 when it was operated by Thomas Hussey, who had had it since 1717. John Legas's accounts of 1741-6 provide details of operation during his tenancy, and partnership with William Harrison (London Metropolitan Archives, CLC/B/111/MS03736). Richard Tapsell succeeded to Legas's tenancy until his bankruptcy in 1765. Thomas Willis was tenant from 1768, purchasing iron from the Fullers (Hodgkinson 1993, 110). It was sold to the Earl of Ashburnham in 1768, who leased it to James Bourne in 1785 for seven years (ESRO ASH A192), but Weale shows the forge as abandoned in 1787 (Sc. Mus. Weale MSS; Hodgkinson 1979, 13).
Site Description: Bay (Road):
L 55m H 1.25m/3m. Revetted in stone on downstream side.
Water system:
Pond dry.
Working area:
Lawn between probably ironmaster's house and stream made up to some depth with forge cinder. Many forge bottoms in stream, also glassy furnace slag supporting Straker's belief in furnace here also. Mould for 14cm (24lb) cannon balls preserved at Glaziers Farm.
Scheduled Monument Number: HER Reference: MES3601 (ANA)
Bay Height (m.): 3 Bay Length (m.): 55
Classis Britannica tiles: No Samian pottery: No
Cylindrical slag plugs: No Two-finery forge: No
Excavation?: No  
Excavation Details:
Description of site vegetation:
Slag Heap Area (m. sq) : Slag heap grade (Hodgkinson 1999):
Persons Involved in Discovery:
References: Hulme, E. W.. (1929) Statistical History of the Iron Trade of England and Wales, 1717-1750. Transactions of the Newcomen Society. 9. pp. 12-35
(for this site see page(s) 22, 25)

Hodgkinson, J. S.. (1979) The Weale Manuscripts. Wealden Iron, Bulletin of the Wealden Iron Research Group. 1st series, 16. pp. 11-14
(for this site see page(s) 13)

Straker, E. (1931) Wealden Iron. Bell. London
(for this site see page(s) 124, 301-2)

Cleere, H. F. and Crossley, D. W.. (1995) The iron industry of the Weald. Merton Priory Press. Cardiff
(for this site see page(s) 182, 193, 318-9, 384)

anon.. (1976) Inventory of Sites visited by WIRG. Wealden Iron, Bulletin of the Wealden Iron Research Group. 1st series, 9. pp. 2-18
(for this site see page(s) 10)

Crossley, D. W.. (1975) The Lists of Furnaces and Forges of 1664. Wealden Iron, Bulletin of the Wealden Iron Research Group. First series, 8. pp. 2-7
(for this site see page(s) 6)

Hodgkinson, J. S.. (1993) The Wealden Iron Industry in the Period of the Seven Years' War 1750-1770. University of Brighton unpublished MA dissertation http://wealdeniron.org.uk/research.htm
(for this site see page(s) 110)

Persons with known connections to this site: Ashburnham, John - Owner 1768-87
Bourne, James - Lessee 1785-87
Clinton, Henry - Part-owner 1755-68
Collins, John - Co-tenant in 1724
Collins, Stephen - finer 1690-1698, finer and hammerman 1698-1715; Co-tenant in 1724
Drushe, unknown - ironworker in 1576
Fawke, Guyllam - finer in 1549
Francis, Thomas - Trustee-owner in 1755
Galloway, Ambrose - Purchased bar iron 1690-1716
Garman, unknown - hammerman in 1549
Glazier, John - Lessee/ironmaster 1549-72
Glazier, Thomas - Lessee/ironmaster bef 1548-1549
Glyde - Clerk 1680-90?
Harrison, William - Partner 1741-5
Heaton, Thomas - Trustee-owner in 1755
Hedoll, Michael - collier in 1549
Hussey, Thomas - Lessee/ironmaster 1717-35
Leanry, Stephen - finer 1639-52, 1653-4
Legas, John - Lessee/ironmaster 1735-52
Message, John - finer 1652-78, 1688
Messenge, Richard - finer 1661-2
Mittell, Henry - hammerman 1638-71
Moore, Thomas - Clerk 1690-1716
Parsons, Edmond - Clerk 1638-1652
Pelham, Catherine - Part-owner in 1755
Pelham, Grace - Part-owner 1755-?
Pelham, Henry - Owner 1715-54
Pelham, John - Owner 1560-80
Pelham, John - Owner/ironmaster 1654-1703
Pelham, Nicholas - Owner bef 1549?-60
Pelham, Thomas - Owner/ironmaster 1624-54
Pelham, Thomas - Owner/ironmaster 1703-12
Pelham, Thomas - Owner 1712-15
Pelham, Thomas - Owner/ironmaster 1580-1624
Pope, Ralph - Clerk 1652-79
Rayner, John - (De facto-)part-owner 1755-?
Smersall, Samuel - clerk aft 1717-1735, manager 1735-bef 1750
Soane, Anthony - finer in 1638-9
Stephens, John - finer 1651-2, hammerman 1662
Stollion, Thomas - Lessee/ironmaster in 1574
Tapsell, Richard - Lessee/ironmaster 1752-65
Thorpe, Richard - hammerman 1671-8, 1690-98
Watson, Lewis - Part-owner 1755-?
Western, Thomas - purchased charcoal in 1690-91
Willis, Thomas - Tenant/ironmaster in 1768
Wimble, John - Co-tenant in 1724
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