A RECORD crowd of more than 1,200 stepped back in time at Fernhurst Furnace for an action-packed weekend as part of Heritage Open Days.

All proceeds will go towards the preservation of the unique Scheduled Ancient Monument, including vital works on the dam, for which Historic England has appointed a project manager.

Fernhurst was home to historically important 17th and 18th century ironworks that manufactured cannons and its wartime legacy was brought to life with a bang, by The Sealed Knot’s Sir Rawdon’s regiment of foot who put on a show for the crowd.

Another highlight was Kevin Lochner from Hawking About’s thrilling flypasts by owls and hawks, and he joined forces with The Sealed Knot for a dramatic playlet about Cavaliers catching a Roundhead spy.

Robert Smith put on a blacksmithing dispay and there was, a charcoal-fired kiln making pottery, plus craft stalls, while roast lamb and a veggie option were cooked in keeping with the period, washed down with some beer.

Robin and Carla Barnes founded the Fernhurst Furnace conservation committee and Mr Barnes gave hourly talks on progress and future plans.

Mrs Barnes said: “It was a great success.

“We were delighted to welcome the largest turnout ever. People came from as far away as Cornwall, Plymouth and London especially for the open weekend, which is now in its 14th year.”