Raven Cliff Furnace

VLR Listing Date


NRHP Listing Date


NRHP Reference Number


The iron furnace complex at Raven Cliff in Wythe County 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. The Raven Cliff Furnace 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 ironmaster’s house, workers’ dwellings, general store, blacksmith shop, stables, and iron ore and charcoal sheds. The Raven Cliff Furnace structures were rebuilt in 1861 and 1875.
{VLR Listed Only]

Last Updated: June 2, 2023

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

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