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Cementation furnace, Sheffield

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Title: Cementation furnace, Sheffield  
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Cementation furnace, Sheffield

The Cementation furnace in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England is a Grade II Listed Building[1] and is the only example of this type of steel making furnace to survive intact in Great Britain. It is situated on Doncaster Street in the St Vincent's Quarter just 0.6 miles (1 km) north west of the city centre.


The furnace was built in 1848 to produce steel by the cementation process by the local steel firm of Daniel Doncasters and Sons, a firm which had been established in Sheffield in 1778.[2] By 1860 there were 250 cementation furnaces in Sheffield capable of producing 80,000 tons of blister steel and the large conical structures were a characteristic feature of the city‘s industrial landscape.[3] The furnace on Doncaster Street is the only remaining example which is undamaged although there are two other sites in the immediate area which have examples which are partially intact, these being at Bower Spring and Millsands. The Doncaster Street furnace operated throughout World War II and a blackout cover was fitted to the furnace outlet as a precaution during air raids, this is still in place today (painted white). The furnace ceased operation in 1951.[4]

Present day

After standing unused for 40 years the furnace was restored in 1992/93 with financial assistance from the HSBC (then Midland) Bank. The furnace stands on land owned by the HSBC on the periphery of a car park for their offices on Hoyle Street. The furnace is surrounded by low fencing and a locked gate with the key being available from the curator at the nearby Kelham Island Museum.[5]


  1. ^ Sheffield City Council. Gives a list of all listed buildings in Sheffield.
  2. ^ Gives some details on the firm Daniel Doncasters.
  3. ^ Shakespeare public house (Gibraltar St). Gives number of furnaces and output.
  4. ^ "Pevsner Architectural Guides - Sheffield", Ruth Harman & John Minnis, ISBN 0-300-10585-1, Pages 163-165 Gives 1848 as year of construction and details of other partial cementation furnaces in Sheffield.
  5. ^ "Information board at site", Gives history and description of furnace.

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