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Title: The iron and steel industries of the Derwent Valley : a historical archaeology
Author: Bowman, John Frederick
ISNI:       0000 0004 7660 1320
Awarding Body: Newcastle University
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2018
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Within the Derwent valley, to the south east of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, lies the Derwentcote Historic Landscape. The site consists of three historical monuments, a forge, a steel furnace and a row of worker's cottages which are in the stewardship of Historic England. This thesis asks how the Derwentcote Iron and Steel works operated within the overall iron working landscape of the Derwent valley. The thesis examines for the first time the archaeology of a pioneering iron industry scattered throughout the whole of a valley which is geographically divided between the counties of Northumberland, Durham and Tyne and Wear. A multifaceted, interdisciplinary approach has been employed utilising a wide variety of primary sources and drawing on several techniques developed by historical archaeologists. Documentary sources and archaeological data have been integrated in considering the archaeological landscape, while process recording and a modification of the Manchester Methodology have been used to assess technological and social developments. A detailed artefact biography has been carried out on Derwentcote as it is the most complete site in the valley. The results of this research have been georeferenced within a GIS. The findings of the thesis indicate that within the Derwent Valley three periods of iron working can be identified: a pre-industrial period, commencing historically in 1299, of local landowners producing iron for their own use, the Industrial Revolution, which arrived in the valley c.1687 through external entrepreneurial interests, and the steam-driven Machine Age which exploited new ore seams and technologies from 1840. The research indicates that the Derwentcote may have operated within all three phases. The valley often adopted the latest technologies in ironworking. Physical evidence for each of these phases remains scattered throughout the area today. The case study of the site of Derwentcote has proven to be a technical microcosm of the national industry.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available