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Programme of Events 2018

February 10 and 11: 10 and March 11 at 10.00am daily
Great Park Wood Excavation
Great Park Wood, Brede
grid ref TQ 853 190.
Lat: 50.940664N Long: 0.636124E
The nearest postcode is TN31 6BG

Great Park Wood is located south of the B2089 about 2 miles east of the crossing with the A28 at Broad Oak Brede. Parking is through a gate directly off the B2089. The entrance will be marked each day. If you see the signs for Udimore you will have passed the entrance. The excavation site is about 200 metres from the parking area downhill across a grass field.

For further information please contact Bob Turgoose on 01424 882657. In the event of bad weather on the selected days please call Bob to check if work is going ahead.

Lake District Visit to view iron sites 20-23 April 2018

Following successful weekend visits to the Forest of Dean, Ironbridge Gorge and Sheffield in the past three years we intend to go a little further afield next April 2018 to visit furnaces in Cumbria.

This will require a four day event travelling up on a Friday and returning on the Monday. The date is 20-23 April (ie 3rd w/end after Easter) - to avoid local school holidays.

The plan is to visit extant furnaces at Backbarrow (1711), Duddon (1736), Newland (1746), a bloomery forge and the Wilkinson Memorial and house at Lindale-in-Cartmel. If time permits, other sites may be included. Download information on sites in the area HERE

For accommodation we have booked a short let on a self-catering holiday house with six bedrooms in Grange over Sands. This can sleep up to 14. The room rate for three nights will be £125 per room so if you are prepared to share you can half your rate. There will be a modest additional cost for catering for breakfast plus a contribution towards lifts to the sites and donations where appropriate to site trusts.

Because of the distance, we will share lifts to the sites for any who may travel to Cumbria by train. There is a station at Grange-over-Sands - change at Lancaster travelling from the south.

Please email Tim Smith secretary@wealdeniron.org.uk if you wish to attend. First come first served for the holiday let but there are also other B&Bs and hotels available in Grange over Sands for those who wish to make their own arrangements for accommodation - or to stay on after the visit.

July 14th (Sat) 2018 11am
Summer Meeting and AGM
Lewes Town Hall. Lecture Room, High St, Lewes, E Sussex, BN7 2QS

A presentation by our sponsored research student, Ethan Greenwood on completion of his studies of the organisation of iron production in pre-Roman and Roman times on the Weald. Followed at 2pm by a visit to Anne of Cleves House (to include the Iron gallery) 52, Southover High St, Lewes, BN7 1JA.

SAS members please bring your SAS membership card for free entry. WIRG will pay entrance for others. Lunch: There are a variety of cafes and restaurants for people to make their own arrangements.

Programme of forays for 2018

To be advised

Past Events 2017

January 20th 2pm 2018
Winter meeting Nutley War Memorial Hall, High St, Nutley, Uckfield, E Sussex TN22 3NE

'In pursuit of the Classis Britannica - ongoing fieldwork by HAARG'. Lynn Cornwell will be the main speaker, with Kevin Cornwell answering some of the questions Followed by Tea & Cakes £2-00 per person.

September 9 & 10th
Fernhurst Furnace open w/end with Civil War enactment and Country Fair Vann Road (to west of Fernhurst).

Route will be signposted on the day.
Help to assist at the stand needed on the days and set-up Friday 8th afternoon. If you can help: Contact Tim Smith by email or on 01403 710148

Saturday 16 September
Smelt at Pippingford WIRG’s experimental bloomery furnace.
Contact Tim Smith or 01403 710148 for details

Sat August 19 & 20th
Biddenden Tractor Fes, Beech Field, Beach Lane (A262) Biddenden, Kent TN27 8EX

Help to assist at the stand needed on the days and set-up Friday 18th afternoon.
Help in manning the information tent appreciated.
If you can help: Contact Tim Smith by email or on 01403 710148

Wed 26 July: Open Day at Standen
To view Ethan Greenwood‘s excavation (see below).

Ethan will be giving tours at 11:00, 12:00 and 14:00 to the site with a brief talk and hopefully lots of questions.

As it is a National Trust property NT members should bring their NT card as there is a £11.50 charge to enter the property for non-members.

The site is at TQ3921 3505 (near power lines and heading towards Wier Wood Reservoir).
From the S of the car park (ie the diagonally opposite corner of the right hand car park on entry) go through the gate and follow the path due south across a field and into the woods.
Follow the board walk but exit on the east side of the wood into the field. The site is near the edge of the woods. Total distance about 500 yards.

If you are joining as a volunteer to excavate, the link to sign up has already been passed to those registered for the Field Group. Please use the carpark to the right and walk the short distance to the site.

15 July to 30 July Excavation at Standen(dates to be confirmed)

Our sponsored PhD student, Ethan Greenwood, is offering members of WIRG a chance to dig at Chitcombe during the period 24 June to 9 July. Also at Standen (National Trust) between 15 ? 30 July. Ethan's work is sponsored by WIRG and he is grateful for any help by WIRG members to accomplish his research objectives. Many societies CHARGE for such activities so here is an opportunity to have FREE access. Contact Ethan on 07995 747935 or e-mail eg391@exeter.ac.uk for details.

15th July, 2017

To be held on Saturday 15 July in Nutley Memorial Hall
High Street, Nutley, Uckfield, E Sussex TN22 3NE

May 26, 27 & 28th
Late May bank holiday weekend a demonstration smelt and WIRG information tent at the Wakehurst ? Wild Wood? festival Ardingly, Haywards Heath, Sussex, RH17 6TN

Help to assist at the stand needed on the days and set-up Friday 25th afternoon. Contact Tim on 01403 710148 or Tim Smith by email or on 01403 710148

Fri 7th - Sun 9th April, 2017
WIRG visit to Sheffield ‘Steel City’
, .
to explore the iron related heritage of South Yorkshire.
To include visits to Shepherds Wheel, a water powered grinding mill for the cutlery trade, a guided tour around Wortley Top Forge (an industrial museum), Rockley blast furnace dating from 1698, a visit to Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet, and Kelham Island museum.
Accommodation at a local motorway hotel.

WIRG Winter Meeting, 2017
2:30pm, Saturday, 28th January, 2017
Speaker: Jonathan Prus, “Choosing the right ore: some new insights into the craft skills of bloomery smelters in the Weald.”
The presentation will be based on work carried out by Jonathan Prus and Jeff Leigh with colleagues from the University of Brighton. They have examined ore and slag from a number of sites in the Weald and found some unexpected results that seem to show that some, perhaps all, bloomery smelters in the Weald had a surprisingly sophisticated practice.
Nutley Memorial Hall, High St, Nutley, Uckfield, East Sussex, TN22 3NE.
Free Entry - Coffee and cake after the meeting £2:50.

What is a Foray?
A foray includes field walking to identify possible iron-working sites. In favourable cases, this is followed up by excavation to further explore the layout of the site and to find dating evidence.

View a short VIDEO of a Foray (16Mb) - it may take a while to download.