Remains of the water system, Brody
Narodowy Instytut Dziedzictwa pl

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An interesting example of classicist interpretation in industrial construction in the 1st half of the 19th century, featuring an organic amalgamate of architectural forms with characteristic features of water construction

History

In accordance with Stanisław Staszic's plans for development of metallurgical industry in the Old-Polish Industrial Area, the plant to be constructed in Brody was to constitute an indirect component of "permanent iron works on the river Kamienna", manufacturing forged and hot-rolled semi-finished products. Construction was started in the next years, probably in the times of Ksawery Durcki-Lubecki, the minister of income and treasury. The system is equipped with a classic system of weirs — relief and working weirs on opposite ends of the dam. The driving force of the system was water — a complete water system was created, comprised of: water reservoir with earth dam, relief weir, working weir and channel, water distributor shaft next to the complex of plant buildings, and water discharge with a lower working channel and a relief channel. The reservoir water system was created in years 1836-1841, and the whole plant was completed in ca. 1845, already under the supervision of the Bank of Poland. Apart from the water system, the following structures were created on the site: buildings of the puddling and rolling sections of the plant, administration building and workers' lodges; the construction was probably supervised by the industrial constructor Henryk Rose. In the second half of the 19th century, the iron works in the Old-Polish Industrial Area became less profitable, and the plant in Brody, although modernised and subjected to organisational and ownership changes, strived for survival. The disaster came in 1903 — great flood destroyed the dam and weirs, and buildings of the plant and the internal power system were seriously damaged. Deprived of its main driving force, the plant was stopped; culverts were ruined, machines and appliances gradually removed, and destroyed plant buildings and abandoned residential lodges were demolished after the war. The site of the complex was supervised in that times by Mining and Metal Works in Zębiec. In the 1960s., the project involving a dam on the river Kamienna was resumed, the reservoir was created anew (an earth barrier was constructed/reconstructed then with new concrete dams, and the flow was directed through a new culvert located in the centre of the dam, and then through a regulated channel to the old river trough). The original working weir and channel are indiscernible today, but the former relief weir was partially reconstructed in years 1972-1976 (on the basis of the preserved remains) in the form of a "dry" exhibit with new (side, north) concrete retaining wall and stairs — original elements had been numbered, partially dismantled and recreated with tie-rod reinforcements. In 1971, the site of the reservoir went under the supervision of the Central Office of Water Management in Warsaw. Currently, it is owned by the State Treasury, controlled by the Regional Board of Water Management in Warsaw, and the whole water system is administered by the Management Board of Catchment Area in Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski.

Description

The site of the former plant is located in the south-western part of Brody, in the valley of the river Kamienna. In the early 1960s, a breached dam with the river free-flowing through it, and a ruined weir were still here, but remains of plant buildings were virtually invisible. At present, there is a water reservoir here (used as a retention tank and formed in the place of the original one), with a new weir, and the original permanent culvert weir is currently excluded from the water system (in was partially reconstructed with the use of existing elements and fabric). A little further on, off the road, there is the building of the former management of the plant (currently a communal service building). Buildings of the rolling mill and puddling section as well as the workers' estate next to them did not survive, and the lower terrace of the former plant features currently pitches and meadows, transected by a regulated section of the river. The most visible element of the old system is the former relief weir, once regulating the level of water piled-up by the dam. It was designed as a seven-bay, symmetrical structure whose heads and pillars were used as supports for a road bridge. Reconstructed, it features four bays based on original fragments: the right head, four pillars and overflow thresholds; the narrows from the north was made in a new concrete retaining wall along with a stairway leading down the slope.  Also now, view to the weir from the water side is impressive — monumental, massive pillars (with elements of simplified classicist detail), covered with basket-handle arches and connected in the lower part by intra-bay walls; the southern retaining wall descending down the slope has an arched end section. The entire structure is made of grey sandstone blocks (currently on cement mortar, originally on limestone mortar), and the pillars from the side of the water up the dam feature profiled slider guides. While technical condition of the structure is still quite good, there are already signs of mechanical and material wear and tear. According to the announcement of the current administrator, the weir will soon undergo general renovation.

Site is generally accessible.

Compiled by Włodzimierz Pedrycz, Regional Branch of the National Heritage Board of Poland in Kielce, 14.11.2014.

Bibliography

  • Karta ewidencyjna. Zespół dawn. walcowni i pudlingarni w Brodach, Jaz przepustowy stały na rzece Kamiennej, oprac. Z.M. Łabęcki, Kielce 1994 [Archiwum Świętokrzyskiego Wojewódzkiego Konserwatora Zabytków w Kielcach i Archiwum Narodowego Instytutu Dziedzictwa w Warszawie.
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  • Szczepański J., Modernizacja Górnictwa i Hutnictwa w Królestwie Polskim w I połowie XIXw. Rola specjalistów niemieckich i brytyjskich, Kielce 1997.
  • Wojewódzki R., Najcenniejsze zabytki techniki - Brody Iłżeckie; w miesięczniku IKAR, no 2 (30), 1996.
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General information

  • Type: industrial architecture
  • Chronology: 1836-1841 r.
  • Form of protection: register of monuments
  • Address: Brody
  • Location: Voivodeship świętokrzyskie, district starachowicki, commune Brody
  • Source: National Heritage Board of Poland

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