Historic Fernhurst ironworks host open weekend

HISTORIC ironworks site the Fernhurst Furnace will again be open to the public over the weekend of September 10-11 as part of the National Heritage open days.

The furnace is the best preserved site of its kind in the south of England and visitors can see the huge part Wealden iron played in arming the British navy with cannon in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Open between 10.30am and 5pm on both days, there will be an assortment of talks, displays and walks. Demonstrations by Sir Marmaduke Rawdon’s Regiment of Foot from the Sealed Knot Society will show musket drill and how skirmishes would have been commanded.

During its working life, cannon were cast at the furnace as well as numerous tools, implements and pig iron. A model on display helps to explain the whole process of iron-making while members of the Gosport Living History Society will depict life in 1642.

In addition to den-building, nature trails and other activities for children, along with local beer, roasted lamb, teas, snacks and souvenirs, there will be demonstrations of crafts including pole lathe work, smelting bronze, blacksmithing and charcoal-making.

Entry and parking are free. The furnace will be signed from the centre of Fernhurst – for more information call 01428 654088.