Expert smelters and blacksmiths from around the world are gathering in a small village in the Antrim hills to bring traditional iron skills back to life

200 years ago, the founding of a Newtowncrommelin village in County Antrim lead to the area of Glenravel becoming the centre of iron ore mining in N.Ireland, playing a foundational role in the industrial revolution. 

Visitors to the furnace festival will see iron smelting in action, learn more about the iron heritage of the area and take part in a program of immersive demonstrations, walks, talks and workshops

Iron Ore Smelting Demonstrations

Watch expert smelters from around the world take iron ore from the Glenravel mines and other varieties of iron ore from across Northern Ireland and smelt it into iron in mud furnaces built from the land around us. Witness this ancient process as it was over 3000 years ago

10am – 4pm Sat 8th June

Blacksmithing Demonstrations

Follow the process as expert smiths from around the world take the iron bloom produced in the furnaces and work it into various traditional items. See the first items produced from Glenravel iron in over 100 years

10am – 4pm Sun 9th June

Outdoor Museum & Heritage Displays

Guided tours of a 200 year old furnace and an Open Air Museum explaining the production and use of iron in Ireland from prehistoric times until today. Displays celebrating 200 years of Newtoncrommelin village, farming in the area – the mining support industry and a special collection of almost 100 horse drawn carriages

10am – 4pm Sat 8th & Sun 9th June


Iron Ore Mining in Glenravel

Learn about the impressive history of iron ore mining in Glenravel in this talk and presentation from local expert and author of the book ‘The Mountains of Iron’, Kevin O’Hagan

8pm Fri 7th June

The Drum Woodland Heritage Site Tour

Once the site of an innovative system to transport iron ore, now a natural woodland reserve. Learn about the mining systems used, how they relied on the woodlands and witness how nature has re-taken ownership

11am Sat 8th & Sun 9th June

Slievenanee Mines Heritage Site Tour

A walking tour around one of the original and busiest mining sites in the Glenravel area. Hear about the history of mining and witness the remnants of mining systems and processes used over 100 years ago.

2pm Sat 8th & Sun 9th June

Book Your Place

Smelting Apprentice

Work alongside the expert smelters throughout the weekend, get hands on and learn this traditional skill

Enquire at

Sat 8th & Sun 9th June

Iron Oxide Pigment Making Workshop

Make red iron oxide pigment from raw earth material with Tricia Kelly from Ócar. Try out art materials made from this ancient natural colour that lies below the landscape of Antrim and create your own work of art.

10:30am & 2:30pm Sat 8th & Sun 9th June

Ceramics workshop

With Moneyvart Ceramics and Cré Collective NI, manifest your inner Goddess as we approach the Summer Solstice and create a little Goddess talisman to bring those magical qualities into your life.  

1pm Sat 8th June

Sculpture Sand Casting Workshop

An introduction workshop into the exciting world of lost foam sandcasting with Jason Hale. Design and carve a sculptural piece out of foam build it into a mold & pour in molten aluminium creating a work of art to take home

1pm Sun 9th June

Kids Activities and Entertainment

Just drop-in for a drawing with iron ore workshop with the Gallagher Girls or environmental art activities with Janet Crymble Art. Enjoy the kids pop-up play area or call in and explore Little World with Sean the Fairy Man

Sat 8th & Sun 9th June

Schools Program

Immersive activity program for local schools to learn about this historical and geological part of our shared heritage

Thurs 6th & Fri 7th June

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