West Beam Calciner

Photo 1: This photo shows the well constructed opening at the end of the calciner adjoining the cottage which was used for retrieving the burnt ore which would have been raked out from an opening to the left not now intact. Behind the substantial lintel is the separate sump referred to in the text. Above this can be seen the remains of the firebricks used for the roof of the oven which has completely collapsed under the weight of the chimney which can be seem top right-central. The flue with its granite topping stones starts top left but the entrance to it has disappeared.

Photo 1

Photo 2: This photo shows the sump on the left which is not connected to the ore clearing area to the right so access to the sump would not appear to have been possible given the flue roof would have been above it. One bar of a grate has survived in situ and there were the remains of at least one more. The area at the top of the photo is being excavated to find the oven base which will presumably match that at the other end.

Photo 2

Photo 3: This photo shows the furnace which has been largely excavated by Rob Smerdon. To the right is the flat oven floor which appears to be made of firebricks. The broken edge to this platform is where the bridge would have been and shaped firebricks with slag attached have been found which may be the remains of the bridge.

Photo 3

Photo 4: This photo shows the flue crossing the leat. The remains of metal baffles were found in situ at both ends of the “bridge”. Presumably these were used to control the draught. There is also one baffle plate found near the base of the chimney on the oven. The “bridge” structure shows some evidence of collapse but the lack of a lintel surely indicates there was no real attempt to allow the water to continue flowing underneath it.

Photo 4

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