Blackdowns Metal Makers

BLACKDOWNS METAL MAKERS, The Carousel Project in partnership with The Blackdown Hills AONB partnership and Somerset County Council

Blackdowns Metal Makers aimed to increase children’s understanding of how the rich iron working past of The Blackdown Hills was rooted in the area’s geology and how the iron working industry in turn left its mark on the landscape. The project was a partnership between The Carousel Project, The Blackdown Hills AONB partnership and Somerset County Council and was funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Blackdown Hills AONB partnership.

Following on from an excavation, targeted in an area of known iron working activity, this ambitious project aimed to work closely with preschoolers, schoolchildren, students, families, the general public and academics to produce materials as diverse as iron working play packs, dramatised historical filming with schoolchildren, an iron working walks leaflet and a new iron working website complete with academic information as well as a children’s area.

After working on Heritage Lottery Funded project Local Stories project the previous year, the Carousel team had a real thirst to explore how heritage themes could be communicated to the youngest members of our society. During Blackdowns Metal Makers Carousel developed a series of innovative learning materials for children aged c.3-6 years and help run special events on an iron working theme to local families.

Our Iron Working Storytelling Tour launch at Tiverton Museum on March 28th 2015 was a huge success with a whole host of iron working themed arts, archaeology and play activities which drew in over 300 people. We then headed off to Chard, Axminster and Wellington Libraries and Honiton Museum.

  • More info here –
  • Read our launch press release here –
  • and our press release about findings during the excavation at Churchinford here