This project involved critical repairs to the sluice and spillway of a former furnace pond. These protect the archaeological remains of a 17th century furnace for which the pond was constructed. It is an important example of West Sussex’s industry of ironworks and later gun casting pits.
The conservation and interpretation of these remains is a project that the landowner and the Fernhurst Furnace Preservation Group have been striving towards for decades. They successfully received the first round of funding from Historic England’s Heritage at Risk Grant and we were appointed as conservation architect and lead consultant to manage the project going forward.
During the main repair phase, the larger, southern half of the project was primarily funded again under the Historic England grant, alongside a considerable grant from the Headley Trust. The repair of the northern section received significant grant funding through the Rural Protection Agency as part of the client and landowner’s Higher Tier Countryside Stewardship Grant for historic and archaeological feature protection.
The works required detailed specification of repairs to the historic dam structures and conservation of the remaining furnace, whilst understanding the ecology, inclement weather and limited access of such a remote site.
Works began on site in June 2021, completing in spring 2022. The project was Highly Commended by the judges at the 2023 Sussex Heritage Trust Awards.
Read the full article on this project on our News page.