THE HISTORY OF EAST GRINSTEAD - Online Book

The rise and progress of the town and the history of its institutions & people.

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THE IRON INDUSTRY.
145
" with the heads on" or " with the heads off," nearly 100 pieces, ranging from " half-pounders " to nine-pounders, being thus specified. The Wakehurst Estate sent in a lot of timber for use at Gravetye, and coal was brought up in considerable quantities from Lewes, being water-borne thus far, the quantity averaging about 12 loads a month. One of Mr. Raby's places is described as Woodcock Forge. This was the one known to be in use at Wire Mill, or Weir Mill, as it used to be called, adjoining the well-known pond at the foot of Woodcock Hill.
In 1763 Millplace furnace was in the hands of Messrs. Ralph Clutton & Durrant, and guns of a much finer make were apparently manufactured there. During February of the year named they consigned to Seamans Wharf, London, about 150 swivel guns, weighing only about one cwt. each. They also cast a number of twelve-pounders, as eight of these were sent to Woolwich in May, 1763. That this business was a considerable one is shown by a written statement in the ledger setting forth that during the year ending in August, 1762, Mr. Clutton paid to Knight the sum of 293. 12s. 101/2d. on account of his cartage bill and there was then a balance due of 40. 5s. 41/2d.
These furnaces must have ceased operation very shortly afterwards, for in 1788 there were only two charcoal fuel furnaces in the whole county of Sussex, and in 1796 only one, the last to cease working being that at Ashburnham, near Battle, in 1823.
Mr. Robert Knight's journal contains much other interesting mattter, in addition to the numerous entries in reference to the cartage of guns and shells. The blacksmiths who shared his work were Master Burr and William Wren, the latter then holding the forge at Felbridge, which for a century or more remained in the same family. The amount of timber and bark carted to London was enormous. In one day, July 18th, 1764, he took from Hasleden to " Mr. Coleman's, the tanner, in Long Lane, London," 25 bags of bark, each weighing over three cwt. Messrs. Clifford & Gardner then carried
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