Slitting Mill survey and exploratory excavation 2011

 

In May 2011 we carried out a resistivity survey on a piece of land near Rugeley, at a place called Slitting Mill. We had been asked to investigate the area by the Staffordshire Industrial Archaeology Society, as it was thought that it may be the site of an 18th - 19th Century Iron Slitting and/or Rolling Mill. Here are some contemporary pictures to set the scene. Click on any picture to see a bigger version

 
Swedish Slitting Mill 1734

Adolph Menzel - Iron Slitting Mill 1875

 Adolph Menzel - Iron Rolling Mill 1875

 

This next picture, taken while we were doing the resistivity survey, shows what the site looks like today. There is a pool above the bank on the right.

 

The area today

 

In October, we excavated three areas on the site. Area A was in the foreground of the picture above, just on the near side of the pile of rubbish (centre). Area B was to the left, and Area C just in front of Keith (standing in the middle of the picture). The area behind Keith was very wet and boggy, and a stream runs through it from right to left.

 

The resistivity survey showed no signs of any building, but in fact there was a deeply-buried brick floor, possibly that of a furnace ash pit, found in Area C. Areas A and B contained much ash, clinker and other iron-working waste.

 

Winston Hollins, SOTMAS dig director for the site, has written a detailed report which includes the survey results as well as more pictures, a location map, a site plan and details of the finds from each area. It can be downloaded (as a pdf file) here.

 

Stoke-on-Trent Museum Archaeological Society, March 2012

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