Redcar Blast Furnace‍

Visited with @jtza, @DustySensorPhotography, @KPUrban_ and @huyt.urb

History credits to @Exploring with Andy

Engineering company Dorman Long had established themselves as builders of long-span bridges throughout the north of England. In 1917 they founded the Teesside Steelworks to produce the steel they needed for construction.

Following the Second World War industries such as steel making was being nationalised under the Labour Party, and as such Teesside Steel was incorporated into British Steel Corporation. This remained until 1988 when Margaret Thatcher privatised the industry in 1988 to form British Steel PLC.

The British government had invested £100 Million into British Steel to establish an integrated plant at Redcar capable of producing 12 million tonnes of steel annually. Opening in 1979, the blast furnace was the largest in the UK and the second largest in Europe. It was capable of producing 10,000 tonnes of iron per day. The molten iron produced by the blast furnace was then moved to Lackenby Works to be converted into steel. The associated power station and compressor house was powered by by-products from the blast furnace and coke ovens.

After spending a while completing some of the spots around the Redcar area, we decided to tackle Redcar Blast Furnace just after Christmas. The site is notorious for the sheer degree of difficulty induced by the immense amount of security, sensors, alarms, etc… We were up for a challenge; the idea of a true zone experience was one we were all missing. On the cold winter’s morning we set off in the dark to find our way on site. We checked some of the other industrial epics around the colossal structure before attempting to gain access to the blast furnace itself. A cautious approach finally got us elevated out of harms way and began a several hour explore. All in all a great way to end the year. Working from the top downwards:

Alistair suspended above the ground.

A sense of scale added to Alistair’s position.

Redcar Power Station.

The views from the very top of the furnace (one layer above the images prior) were unbelievable.

Some closeups of the surrounding area: Redcar Sinter Plant.

The gas holders and extending views.

We then began descending and started at an area housing silos and other similar machinery.

Each level below the top allowed for a new unique look over different parts of the site.

Continuing lower brought us to multiple walkways and areas surround the furnace.

And yet again more views.

We eventually hit the base, which contained the main attraction of the explore.

Closeup of the Tuyeres.

The level below, showing off the bottom of the furnace in all its glory.

Control room opposing the furnace.

The hall on the opposite side presented less foliage on the other side, but the furnace remains an almost replica to the side we first explored.

Having not seen any recent pictures of the main control room and office block we decided to try it. The link from the building to the furnace was locked as we assumed.

We decided to look else where and were lucky enough to find an opening. Oli and Alistair walking around the block to find an entry point.

Inside: Locker rooms.

The control room.

The canteen.

The offices.

At this point, we thought we were done but an outbuilding that was obviously connected was on our exit route. A quick scan round gifted another entry to what was the “Cooling Area Pumphouse”.

Thanks for looking!​