Home Newsletter Locations Diary
Topic Alpha County Sections By

Travellers Resource

Moira Furnace & Country Park

Moira, Leicestershire

Featured Location Guide


Operated by Moira Furnace Museum Trust. An impressive iron-making blast furnace built by the Earl of Moira in 1804 , to exploit the wealth of coal and iron ore in the area.

Moira Furnace was a coke-fuelled, steam-engine blown blast furnace for the smelting of iron from local iron ore, with an attached foundry for the manufacture of cast-iron goods. It has a vertical blast furnace, the attached bridgehouse, and the loading ramp.

The furnace within was supplied with raw materials (iron ore, coke, and limestone) by tipping it in through a charging port at the top, accessed from the bridgeloft. The loading ramp, which crosses the Ashby Canal, allowed the raw materials to be raised into the bridgeloft, the large building with the pitched roof behind the furnace. It is here that the materials were probably weighed and, maybe, mixed before being charged into the furnace.

  Moira Furnace with the Furnace Stack

When the furnace was fired the steam engine blower, (no longer here), forced a continuous blast of air into the bottom of the furnace in order to make the coke burn brighter and raise the temperature inside high enough to melt the iron, any hot gases being sent out of the low chimney at the top of the furnace. When ready, the molten iron was tapped from the bottom of the furnace and run into moulds to produce pig iron.

However it was not a commercial success and experienced continual problems for a multitude of reasons. It was eventually abandoned with its final charge inside, partially smelted. The foundry which attached it however did go on being used, the pig-iron being brought in, but this was demolished in the 19th century and the bridgehosue and engine house were converted to houses and survived until in the1970's when the engine house, having been affected by subsidence and being derelict, was demolished.

Today the remaining structures have been fully restored, by North West Leicestershire District Council, and houses a new industrial history exhibition.

The furnace site includes:

 The museum - within the original blast furnace building; and contains three areas

The Bridge Loft – where the raw materials for smelting were assembled and fed into the top of the furnace. Now houses interactive displays showing how the furnace worked.

The Hastings Room – where the furnace building was converted into cottages after it stopped working. Now displays the working life of the furnace and the history of the buildings on the site.

Mary’s Kitchen - a reconstructed Victorian kitchen. This contains authentic objects giving an insight into the everyday lives of the mining families who lived in the furnace later in the 19th century.

restored lime kilns - the path through the woodland leads to a wildflower meadow and the seven lime kilns that were built to burn local limestone.

A restored section of the Ashby Canal, complete with narrowboat, there is one named after the furnace.  It was dug to transport the coal and iron produced at the Furnace to markets in the Midlands and the South of England. It also carried the raw materials that the furnace needed to operate. It was had water put back in it in 1999 and boat trips are available through the Moira Lock, the first to be built on the Ashby Canal, to the basin at Conkers. Boat trips takes 1hr 15mins.

Moira Furnace and the Ashby Canal

The 7 Lime Kilns  Sue Adair

Moira Locks   cris sloan

A group of small craft workshops, including pottery, stoneware and metal sculpture.

Woodland - a boardwalk trail, specially designed for visitors with disabilities to enjoy, has been provided in the deciduous plantation that links the playground and car park to the main museum site. Here you can see all kinds of plants and animals throughout the year.


Pathways and Cycles ways - As well as the woodland and towpath walks that the site offers, the Furnace is a good starting point for the many local family cycle trails which have been created in the Ashby Woulds and National Forest area.

Free access to woodland, country park, canal towpath and children's play area.

Towpath connects to Conkers  

Events throughout the year as well as the offer of education programme for pre-booked groups and schools.

Further information Grid



Moira Furnace & country Park, Moira, Derbyshire

Ceremonial County: Leicestershire and Derbyshire

Grid Reference:


Map Link:


Aerial photo:

Multimap Aerial

Google Aerial



Best Times to Visit:






Other useful websites:

Wikipedia Link

Leicestershire County Council  

Nearby Locations:

Ashby de la Zouch Castle, Leicestershire

Conkers, Swadlincote, Derbyshire

Other Relevant pages:  


Planning Grid


Moira Furnace & Country Park, Moira, Derbyshire

Grid Reference:


Getting there:

From M42 J11 take the A444 to Swadlincote for around 3 miles then turn right on B5003 (Moira Road) for just over a mile.




Free parking on site



Things To Do, See and Photograph:

Furnace, Canal, Woodland, wildflower meadow, narrowboats

What to take:


Nature highlights:




Furnace Lane





DE12 6AT


 01283 224667 or  07976 673858

Opening times:

Apr-Sept: Tue-Sun 10am-5pm; Open Bank Holiday Monday's
Oct-Mar: Wed-Sun 11am-4pm

Closed Christmas and New Year period


Admission charges only apply to the furnace museum and are:

Guided Tour: Adults £2; Child/Concessions £1; Family (2+3) £6

Non Guided tour: Adults £1; Child/Concession 50p

Canal Boat Trips: Adults £3.50; Child/concessions £2.50; Family (2+3) £10; Free access to woodland, tow paths and rest of site.

Photo Restrictions:


Other Restrictions:  
Special Needs Access: Access to and around attraction, designated parking area
Special Needs Facilities: specially adapted toilets
Children Facilities: Playground on site
Dogs Allowed:  

Please let us know any other information that we can add to the Grid(s) or page and any errors that you discover. Before making a long trip to any location it is always wise to double check the current information, websites like magazines may be correct at the time the information is written, but things change and it is of course impossible to double check all entries on a regular basis. If you have any good photographs that you feel would improve the illustration of this page then please let us have copies. In referring to this page it is helpful if you quote both the Page Ref and Topic or Section references from the Grid below. To print the planning grid select it then right click and print the selected area.

Please submit information on locations you discover so that this system continues to grow.


By:  Tracey Park Section: Industrial Key:
Page Ref: moira_furnace Topic: Last Updated: 05/2009

This page:

Link directly to this page, with text or the button on right.

Text linking:  Moira Furnace & Country Park, Leicestershire on Photographers Resource

Linking Instructions                            http://www.photographers-resource.co.uk/

Photographers Resource, all the information for the photographer