Derwentcote Steel Furnace

Free Entry

Open any reasonable daylight hours. There is no access to the interior, access can be arranged via our guided tour programme.


Forge Lane, Hamsterley, Rowlands Gill, Tyne and Wear, NE17 7RS

Before You Go

Built around 1730, Derwentcote is the earliest and most complete steel-making furnace in Britain.

It produced high-grade steel for springs and cutting tools.

Read more about the history of the furnace.

Derwentcote Steel Furnace is part of the Land of Oak and Iron project, aiming to improve information and access to local heritage in the Derwent Valley. For more information please visit the Land of Oak and Iron website.

Guided Tours

Our free guided walk programme is run by our team of dedicated and knowledgeable Volunteer Guides. Key features of the tours include a handling collection, a tour the interior of the conical furnace building, which has been previously closed to the public, and a tour of the archaeological remains of various iron/steel works – including a crucible furnace, worker’s cottages and water wheel. 

All tours start at 11am and last approx. 45 minutes, with time at the end for visitors to independently enjoy the exhibition on display inside the furnace building and chat with guides. Pre-booking is no longer required. 

The meeting point for all tours is the furnace building. Please wear sturdy footwear as the woodland can be muddy. Our next tours will be; 

  • Sunday 10th March
  • Saturday 23rd March
  • Friday 5th April
  • Saturday 20th April
  • Saturday 4th May
  • Friday 24th May
  • Sunday 2nd June
  • Saturday 15th June
  • Friday 28th June
  • Friday 26th July
  • Sunday 11th August 
  • Saturday 24th August

Please note: In very inclement weather the tour may not go ahead and if the site is icy, then the tour may be shortened slightly. 


Before You Go

Opening times: The grounds are open any reasonable time. The interior of the furnace is occasionally open for guided tours.

Access: The grounds are very uneven, and not suitable for wheelchair and pushchair users. Please take extra care when using the woodland walk as conditions are currently very muddy and slippery.

Parking: There is a car park on the opposite side of the A694.  The car park is signposted.  Please take care when crossing the road.

Plan a Great Day Out

Visit Prudhoe Castle, which survived two sieges during the 1170s and was the only Northumbrian castle to resist Scottish invasion. There are also some well-preserved sections of Hadrian's Wall nearby at Heddon-on-the-Wall.

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