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Water courses and water power

The Association for Industrial Archaeology is holding an interesting meeting on the weekend of 13th-14th April.


Normally held about April each year, this is an informal meeting looking at various topics relevant to those active in industrial archaeology.

In 2013 the topic will be Water Courses and Water Power and the meeting will be on the weekend of 13th-14th April. The Coalbrookdale valley is a prime example of the way that water power could be captured to serve industry. A series of pools in one mile fed the water wheels to drive a concentrated scene of ironworks, from blast furnace bellows to boring engines and smithing hammers. The 16th-17th century watercourse and two of its six pools survive and recently underwent a massive renovation programme. Saturday’s session will explore this and other water-powered projects, including a guided walk along the route led by local experts. Paul Belford, who lead the archaeology investigation, and Harriet Devlin, who leads regular walks along the route, will share its secrets. It can be a wet and muddy walk. Be sure to bring suitable footwear. We will also hear how the Industrial Heritage at Risk project is progressing from the Industrial Heritage Support Officer, Ian Bapty.

There’ll be a social event on Saturday evening including a meal at Cherry’s, and on the Sunday morning a visit by coach to recent excavations at Pitchcroft Mine in Lilleshall and then on to an iconic mid-18th century working water mill in Bridgnorth. Daniel’s Mill has the usual history of alterations, at times assisted by steam power, though today its 38ft iron wheel is water-driven. The coach will return to Coalbrookdale after lunch when there will be an optional (free) visit by car to water-powered sites on the Linley Brook.

The programme and booking form is downloadable here.