03 Mar Saving Ridsdale’s Ironworks
The remains of the engine house at Ridsdale are a visible and enigmatic reminder of Northumberland’s industrial past, a short lived venture yet with a lasting legacy. The construction of the Ridsdale Ironworks saw the creation of the settlement of Ridsdale to house workers brought into this remote area and produced pig iron for the construction of Robert Stephenson’s High Level Bridge in Newcastle.
The engine house, although generally sound, is a Scheduled Monument at Risk, with serious structural issues at a number of locations requiring attention to remove this important monument from the Heritage at Risk Register. It is the principal aim of the project to save this locally important monument for current and future generations, but to do so in a manner which will realise the benefits of this important part of Redesdale’s heritage at a local and regional level. The main outcomes of the project will be:
- The engine house will be saved from further deterioration and collapse, and removed from the Heritage at Risk register;
- Better public access to the site, with a linked walking trail;
- Better on and off-site interpretation to communicate the story of the ironworks and its relevance to the history of iron production in Northumberland and in the context of the 19th century iron industry in England;
- Development of an app with audio commentary to tell the story of the ironworks, the people who worked there and the involvement of Lord Armstrong;
- Opportunity for a community history project.