HMS and Conservation

The Historical Metallurgy Society originated in the early 1960s, partly in response to the damage and destruction of many historically important metallurgical sites. Conservation, research and protection are still important parts of the Society’s role.

Is there a site in your area which represents an important aspect of metallurgical history? Even small and apparently mundane sites can be of regional and even national importance. The sorts of things we may be able to help with include:

  • demolition or damage to metallurgical production sites ranging from plough damage to the ‘humps and bumps’ of a medieval smelting site in the countryside, to the demolition of a 1970s metalworking factory in a city centre.
  • loss or potential loss of archives, production records and other documentary sources either through factory closure or rationalisation within an organisation.
  • inadequate provision being made through PPS5 and the planning process for archaeological recording on a site of specific importance
  • advice and support for local societies and other special interest groups campaigning to save aspects of the metallurgical heritage.

If you are concerned about the preservation of a site, buildings, equipment or archives then the first step is to check with your Local Authority about the status of the site and any planning permission associated with it. If you are still worried then please email the HMS Secretary – – who will direct you accordingly. Please provide the following information when you contact us.

  • The precise location of the site, with an Ordnance Survey Grid Reference.
  • The nature of the site, something about its history and significance.
  • What is there today that you think is important.
  • The threat to the site – is it being bulldozed? Are houses being built nearby?
  • The planning status of the site – has the local authority granted permission? Are Listed Buildings or Scheduled Ancient Monuments involved?
  • Please also tell us about any other campaigns or local interest groups which are concerned with the site.

All of this information should be in the public domain. Your local authority will publish a list of planning applications which it has received, usually in the local newspaper and on its website. The Listed or Scheduled status of the site can easily be checked through the local authority Historic Environment Record (HER) or directly through English Heritage.