Survey of the bloomery site at Cinder Nab, Windermere

Cinder Nab bloomery, Windermere

Cinder Nab bloomery, Windermere

The beginning of the week saw the completion of the topographic survey at the third of the four bloomery sites presently under investigation around Windermere. This site, at the aptly named Cinder Nab, is located adjacent to the shore on the south-west end of the lake and is a little distance to the south-east of Stott Park bobbin mill.

Surveying at Cinder Nab bloomery, Windermere

Surveying at Cinder Nab bloomery, Windermere

The monument, consisting of a large turf covered kidney-shaped mound of slag, along with its location adjacent to a body of water, is typical of the surviving elements found at medieval bloomery sites. The mound is in a very picturesque setting overlooking lake and it looked particularly lovely as it was covered in a dense carpet of bluebells interspersed with a smattering of cowslips.

Eroded section of slag deposits on the lake shore near Cinder Nab bloomery, Windermere

Eroded section of slag deposits on the lake shore near Cinder Nab bloomery, Windermere

The mound was bounded by a slight linear bank on the west side and in the past was apparently contained within a small copse of woodland immediately on the shore of the lake. It is surrounded by several other features, including a pair of smaller spoil mounds and the foundations of a presumably much later kiln that has been inserted into the shore edge just to the side of the bloomery mound.

Foundations of a later kiln adjacent to Cinder Nab bloomery, Windermere

Foundations of a later kiln adjacent to Cinder Nab bloomery, Windermere

The lake shore immediately adjacent to the mound has been eroded back exposing nodules of slag onto the foreshore, including one rather large example. The eroded section was cleaned back and recorded, it revealed deposits of slag waste, burnt charcoal-filled deposits and burnt clay layers. Evidently material associated with the furnace at the bloomery, including waste slag, fuel and clay from the furnace structure itself were dumped on the lake edge.

Large piece of slag eroded out on the lake shore at Cinder Nab, Windermere

Large piece of slag eroded out on the lake shore at Cinder Nab, Windermere

There was no obvious evidence for in-situ structural remains of a furnace in the exposed section and the furnace(s) must be elsewhere on the site, and as usual cannot be seen above ground. The site will now be subject to geophysical survey to identify the presence of any furnaces and any other possible evidence for sub-surface archaeological remains.

Recording the eroded section of slag deposits on the lake shore at Cinder Nab, Windermere

Recording the eroded section of slag deposits on the lake shore at Cinder Nab, Windermere

 

Drawing the slag mound at Cinder Nab bloomery, Windermere

Drawing the slag mound at Cinder Nab bloomery, Windermere

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