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Site Name: Fernhurst (North Park) Furnace OS Reference: SU 8795 2820
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Parish: Linchmere Former Parish:
Hundred: Easebourne District: Chichester
County: West Sussex River Basin: Arun
Site Type: Gunfoundry, Furnace Period: Modern
Century: 18, 17 Geology: Weald Clay
Geology notes:
Earliest known date: 1614 Latest known date: 1777
Dating evidence: This is the furnace noted in the Shulbrede Court Roll as having been built in 1614 by Viscount Montague and Thomas Grey, and tenanted by William Shotter (WSRO Cowdray Mss 264). There are references to Northpark Furnace in the Linchmere parish registers in the 1630s. The furnace was operating in 1653, probably in the hands of the Yalden family who had leased the Cowdray estate in 1643, but said to have been ruined by 1664. There is a map of 1660 which gives a sketch of the furnace (WSRO Cowdray Mss 1640). It was probably working in 1683-4 when iron was carried by local tenants to Pophole Hammer (WSRO Cowdray Mss 96). By 1762, John Butler had begun casting ordnance at Fernhurst (Swanton and Woods 1914:152; Butler and Butler 1845, 10). However, the claim by the authors of the former that Butler was a stranger to the business is incorrect: John Butler of Bramshott had sought to buy 18 pounder guns from Heathfield furnace in 1738 (ESRO SAS RF15/25, L91). In 1769 the site was leased to Joseph Wright and Thomas Prickett, Southwark gun founders (WSRO Cowdray Mss 1444). In 1775 the lease was taken by James Goodyer, a Guildford ironmonger, and it was the furnace advertised for sale in early 1777 (WSRO Cowdray Mss 1445; Sussex Weekly Advertiser 13 Jan 1777). It does not appear to have worked subsequently (Barnes 1991: 26 8).

Dendrochronological dating of two cut timbers from beneath the northern spillway produced dates of 1334-1465 and 1406-1537, suggesting either the construction of the pond bay for an earlier mill, or re-use of timbers when the furnace was being built in the early-17th century (Bridge 2013).
Site Description: Bay: L 90m H pond in water/4m S end revetted with sandstone. Extent in the late-18th century 14.5 acres.

Water system: Pond restored. Disused spillway at S end rebuilt, but recent flood damage showed older timber construction. Flood damage to modern spillway at N end revealed stone and brickwork, remains of two wheelpits and tail race. Excavation has revealed base of furnace and gun-casting vault.

Working area at N end where there is much glassy slag. Probable site of former cottage (mentioned in deed of 1769) NE of furnace.
Scheduled Monument Number: 1021403 (30909) HER Reference: MWS2124 (MWS5858 Pond Bay)
Bay Height (m.): 4 Bay Length (m.): 90
Classis Britannica tiles: No Samian pottery: No
Cylindrical slag plugs: No Two-finery forge: No
Excavation?: Yes  
Excavation Details: see Magilton 1990
Description of site vegetation: Designated ancient woodland
Slag Heap Area (m. sq) : Slag heap grade (Hodgkinson 1999):
Persons Involved in Discovery:

Hodgkinson, J. S.. (1994) Fordley North Park: Coke smelting in the Weald?. Historical Metallurgy. 28. 1. pp. 11-13

Bridge, M. C.. (2013) The Tree-Ring dating of oak timbers at North Park Furnace, Fernhurst, West Sussex. Oxford Dendrochronology Laboratory Report 2013/25. Oxford

Butler, W. and Butler, J.. (1845) A Genealogical Memoranda of the Butler Family. privately published. Sibsagar
(for this site see page(s) 10)

Magilton, J. & Wildman, J.. (1992) Linchmere: North Park Furnace. The Archaeology of Chichester and District. pp. 41-4

Hodgkinson, J. S.. (2015) Field Notes. Wealden Iron, Bulletin of the Wealden Iron Research Group. Second series, 35. pp. 3-12
(for this site see page(s) 4-5)

Cochrane, L.. (1967) Linch and its iron resources. Sussex Archaeological Collections. 105. pp. 37-48

Ponsonby, A.. (1920) The Priory and Manor of Lynchmere and Shulbrede. Barnicott and Pearce. Taunton
(for this site see page(s) 152, 180)

Straker, E. (1931) Wealden Iron. Bell. London
(for this site see page(s) 426-7)

Lower, M. A.. (1849) Iron Works of the County of Sussex. Sussex Archaeological Collections. 2. pp. 169-220
(for this site see page(s) 209, 213-14)

Cleere, H. F. and Crossley, D. W.. (1995) The iron industry of the Weald. Merton Priory Press. Cardiff
(for this site see page(s) 331, 386)

anon.. (1974) Inventory of Iron Sites visited by WIRG. Bulletin of the Wealden Iron Research Group. 1st series, 7. pp. 10-27
(for this site see page(s) 14)

Magilton, J.. (1990) Linchmere: North Park Furnace. The Archaeology of Chichester & District 1989. pp. 30-5
(for this site see page(s) 30-5)

Barnes, C.. (1991) Iron-working sites in the Haslemere area. Wealden Iron, Bulletin of the Wealden Iron Research Group. 2nd series, 11. pp. 19-29

Swanton, E. W. & Woods, P.. (1914) Bygone Haslemere. West, Newman & Co. London
(for this site see page(s) 152)

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) 4)

Magilton, J.. (2003) Fernhurst Furnace. Chichester District Council. Chichester

Persons with known connections to this site: Barden, Roger - founder in 1624
Browne, Anthony - Owner 1717-67
Browne, Anthony Joseph - Owner 1767-77
Browne, Anthony-Maria - Owner 1614-29
Browne, Francis - Owner 1682-1708
Browne, Francis - Owner 1629-82
Browne, Henry - Owner 1708-17
Butler, John - Lessee/ironmaster ?-bef 1769
Denyer, George - clerk in the 1760s
Goodyear, James - Lessee/ironmaster 1774-7
Grey, Thomas - Builder in 1614
Prickett, Charles - ?founder c.1770-7
Prickett, Thomas - Co-Lessee/ironmaster 1769-74
Shotter, William - Lessee/ironmaster in 1614
Wright, Joseph - Co-Lessee/ironmaster 1769-74
Yalden, William - Lessee/ironmaster 1643-59
Yalden, William - Lessee/ironmaster 1659-bef 1664
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