Archaeologists have begun examining Sheffield’s illustrious industrial history by uncovering steel furnaces dating back to the 1850s. At the site, called Hollis Croft, they have uncovered the remains of a cementation furnace. The chimneys of this cementation furnace are visible on an 1854 map.
Dinah Saich, principal archaeologist with South Yorkshire Archaeology Service, said “Here we can see there once was a big modern building that has seen some survival and most impressively this area of survival includes a pair of furnaces which were part of the early processes for making steel for which helped Sheffield become famous across the world for its metal trades. We’re always excited when we see remains surviving which answers the question that this place was making steel.”
Emma Carter, site supervisor at Wessex Archaeology, the firm behind the excavation, said: “The sites in their former glory are two brick furnaces rising up in a cone-like shape. There would have been an outer chimney with brick and stone within those would be chests made out of fire brick. All the components have left us with a brilliant array of different colours. Conditions down here would have been sweltering for the men working. The temperatures would reach 1000C and there would be people constantly filling up the stove to keep the fires going.”
A short video of the site can be viewed here and the full article can be found here.