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Welcome to the Fussells Iron Industry website

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The complex of 18th and 19th century ironworks operated by the Fussell family in that part of Somerset bounded by Mells, Great Elm and Nunney, north west of Frome, is of major significance in the field of industrial archaeology, in terms both of its impact on the local economy and of its status as one of the largest operations of its type in Europe.

Although some of the sites have been investigated to a limited extent, a great deal remains to be done. There is urgent need for conservation work to be carried out, along with detailed examination and recording on site, investigation of documentary records and collection of anecdotal evidence.

This website is the focal point for exchange of information on all aspects of the part of north east Somerset christened 'The Fussell Country' by Robin Atthill in his 1967 book 'Old Mendip', with special reference to the manufacture of agricultural edge tools and other implements by the Fussell dynasty of ironmasters from the mid-1700s until the end of the 19th century. A book entitled "Men of Iron, The Fussells of Mells" by Dr Robin Thornes has now been published and is available from the Frome Society for Local Study


The Fussells Iron Industry Society was concerned with investigation, conservation and management of Fussells-related sites in co-operation with the site owners. Unfortunately that society is now dormant, however there is still a great deal of interest currently focussed on the Fussells Trial Balance Lock site.


We hope you enjoy exploring this website and invite you to contact Derrick Hunt if you would like to contribute to future research.


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The Fussells Iron Industry Story

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PLEASE NOTE: most of the locations mentioned in this website are on PRIVATE PROPERTY and the ironworks sites in particular can be extremely hazardous. They should not be visited without explicit prior permission from the site owner.



Mells Lower Works from the south east in the 1880s


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