Industrial heritage sites that you find interesting!

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Tangled Metal
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Industrial heritage sites that you find interesting!

Postby Tangled Metal » 30 Aug 2018, 3:55pm

Having been told off for thread drift I've started this thread. Please keep it on track about industrial sites, heritage and relics related to our more productive life throughout history. :wink:

Seriously, whilst the heritage industry has traditionally been about churches, rich people's houses and castles there's increased interest in industrial heritage. We've had industry for longer than modern organised religion. Whether it's iron age or stone age or more modern times there's been "factories" producing in some cases high value / high grade items that have spread across the known world. From langdale stone axes found in Eastern Europe to slate roofing across the world in more modern times.

What places have you been to and liked? Any recommendations? Any "secret" sites you've found when out and about?

Our industrial heritage is at its heart a story of the working man (woman and children too). A story of families working together in many cases (especially mining and ore processing).

BTW I know there's a few ex miners on here. If be interested if this interests you, especially if you find historical mining sites as interesting as I find them with you having actual mining experience.

brynpoeth
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Re: Industrial heritage sites that you find interesting!

Postby brynpoeth » 30 Aug 2018, 4:14pm

Wales is top here of course, the Festiniog Railway was built downhill all the way from Blaenau to Boston Lodge so the horses could eat their oats in peace before dragging the wagons back up, the FR pioneered narrow-gauge steam too

One thing in common with churches and religion, there is an awful lot we do not know about industrial history
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comfortablynumb
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Re: Industrial heritage sites that you find interesting!

Postby comfortablynumb » 30 Aug 2018, 4:23pm

One which I ride ride past often is the old Wenford Clay Dries at the top end of the Camel Trail from Bodmin. It was closed by Imerys (formerly English China Clays) several years ago. The Camel Trail goes right through the old loading bays where the rail trucks were loaded to take the clay down to port along the railway line where the Camel Trail now runs. Later replaced by lorry transport. I often wonder if many people know what the old buildings are.
I am now retired but worked in the Imerys ceramic labs most of my life and tested many samples from Wenford.
Steve.

rjb
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Re: Industrial heritage sites that you find interesting!

Postby rjb » 30 Aug 2018, 4:46pm

The Westonzoyland steam pumping station on the Somerset levels is one of my favourites, lots of stuff there and a very laid-back experience, especially if you like a close up experience with big steam driven machinery.
And it has free entry in early sept over the weekends as part of the heritage weekend events. Nice cafe there as well.
https://www.wzlet.org

Westonzoyland 2.JPG
Easton and Amos pump
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Tangled Metal
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Re: Industrial heritage sites that you find interesting!

Postby Tangled Metal » 30 Aug 2018, 5:04pm

Cumbria, the railway to windermere by the aquarium and of course l'il ratty. I did BF railway earlier this year and tbh nothing special. I rate L'il Ratty higher in the steam railways stake. Not that I'm being competitive with Wales. :)

Everyone looks to North Wales and snowdonia for mining heritage but really, there's a lot going on in Cumbria I reckon. The variation too, from the heart of the Lakeland hills to North Cumbria and the Eastern side with the pennines. There's more variation in the product from gold/silver to lead, copper, various types of rock too. Rich lodes in the past too.

All with the greatest sausages made locally anywhere in Britain. That's the westmoreland and Cumberland sausages in case you wanted to know. Plus better pubs!

Biased? Me? Not a chance! Just being honest about it. :wink:

pete75
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Re: Industrial heritage sites that you find interesting!

Postby pete75 » 30 Aug 2018, 5:15pm

Tangled Metal wrote:Cumbria, the railway to windermere by the aquarium and of course l'il ratty. I did BF railway earlier this year and tbh nothing special. I rate L'il Ratty higher in the steam railways stake. Not that I'm being competitive with Wales. :)

Everyone looks to North Wales and snowdonia for mining heritage but really, there's a lot going on in Cumbria I reckon. The variation too, from the heart of the Lakeland hills to North Cumbria and the Eastern side with the pennines. There's more variation in the product from gold/silver to lead, copper, various types of rock too. Rich lodes in the past too.

All with the greatest sausages made locally anywhere in Britain. That's the westmoreland and Cumberland sausages in case you wanted to know. Plus better pubs!

Biased? Me? Not a chance! Just being honest about it. :wink:


One of the biggest industrial heritage sites is in Sleaford in Lincolnshire the giant Bass maltings. Lincolnshire is, of course, where the best sausages are from. Far more flavour than Cumberland sausages. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bass_Maltings,_Sleaford

Image

pwa
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Re: Industrial heritage sites that you find interesting!

Postby pwa » 30 Aug 2018, 5:24pm

The daddy of industrial Heritage sites is at Coalbrookdale, near Ironbridge. There you can visit a site which can claim to be one of the birthplaces of the Industrial Revolution. For the entire planet. It has as good a claim to that title as anywhere.

In 1709 Abraham Darby 1 (grandfather of the AB who made the Iron Bridge) perfected a technique for using coke (purified coal) to smelt iron, rather than the increasingly hard to get charcoal. Without that advance large scale production of iron for the Industrial Revolution would not have been possible. Darby worked out how to do it without ending up with rubbish iron full of impurities, a problem that others had encountered. And he did it in 1709! You can stand beside the remains of the furnace, just where that first stream of molten iron emerged. What happened there was the start of something that changed the world in a way that more famous monuments like the Pyramids at Giza never did.

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Dean
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Re: Industrial heritage sites that you find interesting!

Postby Dean » 30 Aug 2018, 5:34pm

Tees Cottage Pumping Station, Darlington. It has a steam-powered pump, a gas-powered pump and a leccy one.

The steam engine is fabulous - all polished brass and intricate pipework and serene shifting of beams and wheels. The gas engine is a massive percussive racket.

profpointy
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Re: Industrial heritage sites that you find interesting!

Postby profpointy » 30 Aug 2018, 5:47pm

Dinorwic slate mining museum in Snowdonia. Absolutely fantastic. The site is all the supporting trades which underpinned the actual mining. Thus: machine shops, and iron foundry, woodwork shops for the paternmakers associated with the foundry, giant waterfall and so on. Great for a bad weather day when Crib Goch might be a tad sporting.

One on my list,which I've yet to visit is the Diesel museum in Cardiganshire West Wales. Sounds really interesting

CliveyT
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Re: Industrial heritage sites that you find interesting!

Postby CliveyT » 30 Aug 2018, 5:52pm

Virtually all of Cornwall has some form of industrial heritage attached (just a pity there's virtually none still working) 200 years ago all those quaint engine houses all along the coast would have matched any of the mills in England for noise and pollution. As already mentioned a large part of the area around St Austell is covered with the remains from the China clay industry, and then there's all the associated infrastructure, tramways etc that went along with it (e.g Luxulyan viaduct https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treffry_Viaduct

and after all Image

brynpoeth
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Re: Industrial heritage sites that you find interesting!

Postby brynpoeth » 30 Aug 2018, 5:55pm

Britain has far too many steam railways thanks to Dai Woodham of Barry, Wales, +1

The Watercress Line is my favourite, one sees bizarre things there, for example two A4s going backwards pulling four coaches
Or a full-size replica of Thomas the Tank Engine
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pwa
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Re: Industrial heritage sites that you find interesting!

Postby pwa » 30 Aug 2018, 6:33pm

brynpoeth wrote:Britain has far too many steam railways thanks to Dai Woodham of Barry, Wales, +1

The Watercress Line is my favourite, one sees bizarre things there, for example two A4s going backwards pulling four coaches
Or a full-size replica of Thomas the Tank Engine

The Reverend Awdry, creator of Thomas, was a volunteer in the fight to save the Talyllyn Railway in Wales.

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Cunobelin
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Re: Industrial heritage sites that you find interesting!

Postby Cunobelin » 30 Aug 2018, 6:49pm

In the 1970’s I trained at the Royal Naval Hospital Haslar

At the timeof building, the largest brick building in Europe, the home of Admiral,Lind who discovered The use of Citrus fruits for Scurvy, the first hospital dedicated to Naval Personnel, the first ever blood bank.... and a hundred other accolades

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Si
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Re: Industrial heritage sites that you find interesting!

Postby Si » 30 Aug 2018, 7:36pm

One of my commutes is along the brum and fazerly canal, up farmers locks, cant get much more industrial than that....i even pass a james watt vertical steam engine.

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Si
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Re: Industrial heritage sites that you find interesting!

Postby Si » 30 Aug 2018, 7:47pm

Tangled Metal wrote:. We've had industry for longer than modern organised religion. Whether it's iron age or stone age or more modern times there's been "factories" producing in some cases high value / high grade items that have spread across the known world. From langdale stone axes found in Eastern Europe to slate roofing across the world in more modern times. .


<nerd hat on> the langdale 'axe factories' (and the like) are no longer thought of as such. Rather, they are believed to be sacred sites where axeheads were quarried because they had special meaning, the act of creating them being a spiritual process. They could have made just as good axes from the easy to access rock at the lower parts of the hills. Likewise, its doubted that they were traded as economic items, rather they may have been used as items of competative consumption, loyalty gifting, etc. Or tourist tat ;-) </nerd hat on>