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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 475: summary

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A survey of Rayne Foundry,The Street, Rayne, Braintree, Essex, May 2008
by Chris Lister
(with contributions from Andrew Phillips)

Date report completed: August 2008
Location: Rayne Foundry, The Street, Rayne, Braintree, Essex
Map reference(s): TL72722265
File size: 42,519 kb
Project type: Building survey
Significance of the results: **
Keywords: foundry, Rayne, casting

Summary. Rayne Foundry lies on the north side of the Roman road known as Stane Street – the main route from Colchester to St Albans – today called simply ‘The Street' in the centre of Rayne parish. A foundry was in continuous operation at the site from at least as early as the1820s right through to its closure in 2001. Eighteen buildings were recorded in the course of the survey. Little of the early foundry survived, apart from a few external walls to the south and east of the current complex, with the current building dating mostly to the 1930s/1950s. At the time of its closure, the foundry used 20th-century equipment and machinery, and no original fixtures and fittings have survived. The Roper cupola furnace was one of the last remaining examples of its type in the region and, with the closure of Rayne Foundry, the last operational iron foundry in Essex has disappeared.