North Yorkshire Moors National Park

Warren Moor in North Yorkshire Moors National Park.

Work is underway to create a new interpretation of historic mining sites across the North York Moors National Park, called This Exploited Land of Iron.

The National Lottery funded project will showcase a mixture of interventions both out in the landscape and in local hubs and centres to tell the story of one of the most industrial periods in the moors’ history.

On completion in 2019, the project will provide an ‘inter-connected network that visitors can explore, revealing the astonishing stories and scale of the mining industry that once dominated this landscape’.

What can groups expect? 

The focus of the core exhibition at the Moors National Park Centre in Danby will draw upon the history of the area from Medieval smelting to the trailblazing Victorian railways. Visitors will be able to use digital maps, projected archive film and an interpretive play area to learn about this chapter of the story and other places where the tale continues. 

Other sites such as Grosmont Village, East Kilns and Rosedale Abbey’s Bank Top will continue the industrial heritage exploration. At Grosmont iron works, for example, visitors will learn that the now leafy car park was once the site of a major industrial complex producing nearly 1,000 tonnes of pig iron a week.  

Commenting on the project, Nichola Ward, head of creative at leading team, Leach Studio said: “Ironstone mining and the Victorian industrialisation had a significant impact on this community and the surrounding landscape, so we’re telling this story on a huge, far-reaching scale. 

“The challenge is that this heritage isn’t always very well known or even easy to uncover, as in many places nature has taken over since the decline of the industry in the last century. Our brief is therefore to create a range of design solutions that help different types of visitors understand, explore and uncover the astonishing moors for themselves.”

Details on what groups can do during a visit will be released closer to the 2019 opening date.

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