The Historical Metallurgy Society organises several meetings each year.
The Society holds its Annual General Meeting in a different part of the UK in the spring each year. After the AGM there is usually a one-day meeting with specialist lecturers.
Each year the Society holds a two-day residential conference (usually in the United Kingdom) each autumn with a programme of papers from invited speakers and reports of work by Society members built round visits to sites. One day at the conference is usually spent in the field with coaches taking members to places of interest, which might be the remains of copper mining in Staffordshire, lead mining in the Peak District, or tin mines along the rocky Cornish coast; or it could be to ruined furnace remains in South Wales or the Forest of Dean.
The sites are as varied as the enigmatic wastes of Bronze Age Flag Fen or a small lonely group of granite boulders marking an ancient tin smelting site on the top of Dartmoor. Sometimes members may be fortunate enough to see a working edge-tool mill or a demonstration of crucible steel making.
In the autumn the Research in Progress meeting (RIP) provides a forum for the presentation of current, usually unpublished research. Although the venue of this day meeting is usually a university, the meeting is open not just for research students, but for anyone (individuals, societies, commercial units...) to present their current or recent work. HMS Council awards the best presentation by a current or recent student (within 12 months of graduating) at each RIP meeting with the HMS Council Prize.
Historical Metallurgy Society is organising a meeting in Ireland on the 12th -13th April 2014. The theme of this meeting is “Irish Iron” and will combine field trips with talks and an exhibition. Base camp is Blarney, just outside Cork city, where we will be staying at the Blarney Woollen Mills Hotel. From here, on Saturday, we will visit east County Clare where an extensive charcoal blast furnace industry was established in the 17th century around several rich haematite mines. Three of the four well-preserved furnaces will be visited, two dated to the early seventeenth century, the other possible nearly a century older. On Sunday morning, the little-known site of the East India Company ironworks near Bandon (Co. Cork) will be visited. This site, dating to the 1610s, is exceptional because of its heavily fortified nature. In the early afternoon, Tim Young, who has examined numerous Irish slag-assemblages, and Paul Rondelez, in the final stages of his PhD-research on late medieval ironworking in Ireland, will present an overview of the history of ironworking in Ireland. This will be accompanied by a exhibition of some of the more exceptional remains of early Irish ironworking, such as blooms, a preserved slag-pit furnace, various tuyere types, etc.
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Please note that the deadline for registration is 1st March 2014.