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Rchard Williams


Super work again.  This Candice Goucher seems quite an expert on the Reeder ‘foundry’.  She is a serious prof at the Washington State University and has written a lot about the issue.  There is a report on line about a preliminary excavation that she made in the 1990s, but I have not yet found a follow up.

At no point does she make any claims about a rolling mill being present.  She did find what she called iron slag, but that was to be analysed.  It could be waste from a foundry remelting operation, from forging or be blast furnace or bloomery slag.

She makes no claim about forge hammers and recycling of wrought iron is not mentioned either.  Other reports on the works emphasise that there were other metals besides iron being worked, particularly copper base and lead.  Many seem to claim that it was essentially a remelting foundry.  The Goucher reference to making boilers presumably means they cast large three legged cauldrons and part of one of these was found in the excavations.

Goucher implies that she has studied the Devon archives, so the extra information that Jenny Bulstrode obtained from those regarding reverberatory furnaces, rolling mill and forges seems to me to be a bit suspicious.  Like the ‘deliberate’ misquote of the Abby non-voyage to Portsmouth.  I think that you may be over generous to the paper in suggesting that it should simply cut out the Cort link, but a definitive view could probably only be obtained by a careful study of her references in the Devon archives.