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The Forest of Dean by H. G. Nicholls

Bottoms and sides with plancks


Water Pricke Posts with his laces, 4lb.

"The Hamer Hutch one the west side, 4 foote square, bottoms and sides with plancks, 2 ranges of timber 150 foote longe, 10lb.

"The bodye of one Fynerye wheele all newe, made within 2 yeares last past by the Farmers.

"One little house for the carpenter to work in one the bay.

"Two ranges of tymber worke in the lower side of the bay, consistinge of sils, laces, and posts, built by the Farmers within 2 yeares, 120 foote, 12 heigh, 80lb.

"The front of the bay where the water is led to the west side and drawinge gates built about 2 years since. Stone walls on each side, 5lb.

"A flowd gate with 6 sluices, strongly tymbered, built with stronge wall one either side thereof, 160 foote longe, 3ft heigh, 3 foot thicke, aproned and plancked on the top for a bridge 3 years since, 44 foot longe, 22ft broad, 50lb.

* * * * *

The same careful investigator (Mr. Wyrrall) of every particular relating to the iron-works of the Forest formed a glossary of the terms used in the above specifications, which not only sufficiently explains them, but also shows that very similar apparatus continued to be used in this neighbourhood up to the close of the last

century. It proceeds thus:--

"_Sows of Iron_ are the long pieces of cast iron as they run into the sand immediately from the furnace; thus called from the appearance of this and the shorter pieces which are runned into smaller gutters made in the same sand, from the resemblance they have to a sow lying on her side with her pigs at her dugs. These are for working up in the forges; but it is usual to cast other sows of iron of very great size to lay in the walls of the furnaces as beams to support the great strain of the work.

"_Dam Plate_ is a large flat plate of cast iron placed on its edge against the front of the furnace, with a stone cut sloping and placed on the inside. This plate has a notch on the top for the cinder or scruff to run off, and a place at the side to discharge the metal at casting.

"_The Shaft_ of a wheel is a large round beam having the wheel fixed near the one end of it, and turning upon gudgeons or centres fixed in the two ends.

"_The Furnace House_ I take to be what we call the casting house, where the metal runs out of the furnace into the sand.

"_The Bridge_ is the place where the raw materials are laid down ready to be thrown into the furnace. I conceive that it had its name (which is still continued) from this circumstance--that in the infancy of these works it was built as a bridge, hollow underneath. It was not at first known what strength was required to support the blast of a furnace bellows; and the consequence was that they were often out of repair, and frequently obliged to be built almost entirely new.

"_Bellows Boards_--not very different from the present dimensions.

"_Water Troughs_--scooped out of the solid timber. This shows the great simplicity of these times, not 150 years ago.

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