Iron-working in medieval Perth: a case of town and country?

Iron-working in medieval Perth: a case of town and country?

Effie Photos-Jones & John A Atkinson

Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 128 (1998), 887-904

The established view of urban medieval iron-working in Scotland is that urban smiths depended on rural bloomeries for the supply of processed raw materials. This view is challenged on the basis of chemical/mineralogical analyses of industrial waste from several urban medieval excavations in and around the town of Perth. Archaeological evidence and the composition of iron-working debris in Perth suggests that the town smiths may not have been dependent on rural supply, but practised primary extraction themselves, thus controlling all aspects of output and development in the ironworking industry from perhaps as early as the 13th century. This paper is funded by Historic Scotland and forms part of ongoing research on the Scottish Bloomeries Project.

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