Morley Park Ironworks
Written by ICLOK
The remains of this ironworks with its two cold-blast coke-fired iron smelting furnaces stand in a field in Derbyshire south east of Heage, and can be clearly seen to the west from the northbound A38. The earliest of them dates from soon after the first of this type of furnace was built at Coalbrookdale, and is believed to be the earliest of this type in Derbyshire. The first furnace was built by Francis Hurt in 1780 and the second in 1818 by the Mold Brothers.
The first proprietor of the furnaces was Francis Hurt of Alderwasley Hall near Whatstandwell. He took over the family lead merchant business but also branched out into iron making and it is believed the works supplied much of the iron used in the construction of the Derwent Valley mills. The site selected was near Heage where large amounts of Coal and Ironstone were already being mined.
The furnaces are square in plan and take the form of a pair of truncated pyramids, made of Gritstone.
They are roughly 40ft high and back into the remains of the charging bank from which they were filled. The inside of the second later furnace is bottle shaped similar to a kiln. The field area to the front and sides of the furnaces were a complex of coke ovens, casting sheds connected by tramlines, as well as the blast engine house. However nothing remains now excepting the furnaces themselves.
The furnaces are thought to have last worked in 1874.
The remains are now listed and post stabilisation, the furnace openings were gated to prevent access.