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Photo of Fontenay Abbey

Forge

Trout pond and medieval building containing the forge at the south end of the complex at Fontenay Abbey, founded by St Bernard of Clairvaux in 1118. The forge was built in 1220 but has been recently reconstructed based on the original. The Cistercians were well-known for their expertise in water engineering, and here at Fontenay it was used to especially impressive ends. This iron forge was the first metallurgical factory in Europe and the place of invention of the hydraulic hammer, which became the basis of industrial manufacturing in Europe.

Photo © Holly Hayes.

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