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Virginia Department of Historic Resources

098-0214 Raven Cliff Furnace

Raven Cliff Furnace
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For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 03/17/1999

The iron furnace complex at Raven Cliff included the furnace and its support facilities, as well as facilities necessary to support the workers and animals who operated the furnace. The cold-blast charcoal stack was 29 feet high and 9 feet across the bosh, with three tuyeres. The furnace was constructed of dry-laid dressed local limestone and sandstone, with a brick chimney. It was originally connected to the ridge to the west by a charging bridge over which iron ore, limestone flux, and charcoal were wheeled and dumped into the central, brick-lined cavity. A casting house where molten iron was formed into pigs and sows by the sand molding process was located east of the furnace. The tub bellows were powered by a waterwheel set north of and close to the stack. A race ran the length of the foot of the hill to the creek one-quarter mile away. Additional wooden structures were located on the adjacent hill and originally included the iron masters house, workers’ dwellings: general store, blacksmith shop, stables, and iron ore and charcoal sheds. The furnace structures were rebuilt in 1861 and 1875.


Abbreviations:
VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

Updated September 19, 2018