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WEALDEN IRON RESEARCH GROUP
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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: 16, 17, 18 Geology: Purbeck Beds, Ashdown Beds
Geology notes:
Earliest Date: 1548 Latest 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 the Pelhams operated Brightling and Bivelham forges using pig iron from Waldron furnace (BL Add. MSS 33154-6). Brightling was listed in 1653 and 1667. 40 tons was the output in 1717, a figure repeated for 1736. 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). The Earl of Ashburnham 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 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:
Additional Information: No
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) 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 aft 1768-87
Bourne, James - Lessee 1785-87
Clinton, Henry - Part-owner in 1755
Collins, John - Co-tenant in 1724
Collins, Stephen - finer and hammerman in 1710; Co-tenant in 1724
Drushe, unknown - ironworker in 1576
Fawke, Guyllam - finer in 1549
Francis, Thomas - Trustee-owner in 1755
Garman, unknown - hammerman in 1549
Glazier, John - Lessee/ironmaster 1549-72
Glazier, Thomas - Lessee/ironmaster bef 1548-1549
Harrison, William - Partner 1741-5
Heaton, Thomas - Trustee-owner in 1755
Hedoll, Michael - collier in 1549
Hussey, Thomas - Lessee/ironmaster 1717-35
Leanie, Stephen - finer 1638-51
Legas, John - Lessee/ironmaster 1735-52
Message, John - finer in 1688
Mittell, Germane - hammerman in 1690
Mittell, Henry - finer/hammerman 1662-1671
Moore, Thomas - Clerk 1690-1716
Pelham, Catherine - Part-owner in 1755
Pelham, Grace - Part-owner 1755-?
Pelham, Henry - Owner 1715-54
Pelham, John - Owner/ironmaster 1654-1703
Pelham, John - Owner 1560-80
Pelham, Nicholas - Owner bef 1549?-60
Pelham, Thomas - Owner/ironmaster 1703-12
Pelham, Thomas - Owner/ironmaster 1624-54
Pelham, Thomas - Owner/ironmaster 1580-1624
Pelham, Thomas - Owner 1712-15
Rayner, John - (De facto-)part-owner 1755-?
Smersall, Samuel - clerk aft 1717-1735, manager 1735-bef 1750
Stephens, John - hammerman in 1662
Stollion, Thomas - Lessee/ironmaster in 1574
Tapsell, Richard - Lessee/ironmaster 1752-65
Watson, Lewis - Part-owner 1755-?
Willis, Thomas - Tenant/ironmaster in 1768
Wimble, John - Co-tenant in 1724
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