Shropshire History


Ironmaking Sites


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Iron Properties

Iron Making

Iron Sites


Coalbrookdale Company


Alveley Forge, Alveley (SO766862)


Apley Lower Forge, Astley Abbots (SO706982)

18th Century.


Apley Upper Forge, Astley Abbots (SO700982)

18th Century.


Aston on Clun Forge, Aston on Clun (SO393816)


Barnett’s Leasow Furnace, Broseley (SJ673032)

1796 - John Wright, Joseph Jesson and Richard Jesson of West Bromwich formed the Barnett’s Leasow Company and leased land at Barnett's Leasow, north of the River Severn. They built a blast furnace, with the blast provided by a Boulton & Watt engine, and supplied pig iron to their forges at West Bromwich and Wrens Nest, as well as for general local sale.  In 1773, they had patented a process to produce wrought iron with coke by heating pig iron in clay pots.

1801 - a second blast furnace was built and another larger Boulton and Watt engine installed to provide the blast.

1803 - the output was 65 tons of pig iron a week.

1815 – business sold to Charles Phillips and William Parsons.

1820 – Phillips and Parsons went bankrupt and the business closed.

1821 - James Foster took on a new lease of the works and continued to produce iron there.  Output was 2,755 tons in 1823 and 1,316 tons in 1830.

1830 - the blast furnaces ceased operation.


Beambridge Forge, Munslow (SO531881)


Bedlam Furnace, Ironbridge (SJ678033)

1756 – built by the Madeley Wood Company.

1776 – acquired by the Coalbrookdale Company.

1797 - when the Coalbrookdale Company was reorganised, Bedlam was taken over by William Reynolds & Company.

1832 – the Anstice family formed a new Madeley Wood Company and acquired the site.  They moved iron making operations to the Blists Hill Furnace and the site became a brickworks.

1970s – became part of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum.


Benthall Furnace, Benthall (SJ672031)

1778 – Stephen Hill opened an ironworks and supplied pig iron to Wolverley Ironworks, Soho foundry and others in Birmingham. There were 2 blast furnaces (only one of which could be used at a time), with the blast provided by a waterwheel and a pumping engine returning water to the pools above. At a later date, a 30 horsepower atmospheric engine replaced the waterwheel.

1781 – around 700 men were employed. There was a boring mill and a forge.

1784 - the works was capable of manufacturing steam engines although domestic goods were probably the main manufacture.

1787 - a line of ovens for the manufacture of coke and tar was built next to the ironworks.

1799 – the tar ovens were demolished .

1821 – the blast furnaces ceased operations but the foundry and boring mill, managed by Stephen Hill,  carried on.

1840 – closed.


Blists Hill Furnace, Madeley (SJ695034)

1790 – ironworks built.

1832 – acquired by the Madeley Wood Company and a coke-fuelled blast furnace built, with a steam engine providing the blast and casting halls in front.  Pig iron was produced.

1840 – second blast furnace built.

1844 – third blast furnace built.

1908 – 2 of the furnaces were shut down.

1912  - the last blast furnace ceased operation after a strike and the works closed.


Boraston Forge, Boraston (SO612701)

1597 - a forge was built by Richard Cook.


Bridge Street Foundry, Bridgnorth (SO719930)

1834 – opened by John Hazeldine Jnr.

1843 – John Hazledine Jnr died and the firm ceased.


Bridgnorth Foundry, Bridgnorth (SO719931)

1794 – built by John, Robert and Thomas Hazledine trading as Hazledine & Company. Initially produced agricultural machinery and gained a countrywide reputation for the quality of its castings.

1797 – partners became bankrupt but creditors allowed them to continue in business.

1798 - patented a mill for rolling metal bars.

1803 – Richard Trevithick placed an order for an engine to be used in a dredger.

1804 - there were 7 Trevithick engines being manufactured.

1805 - a stationary engine labelled “No.14” was built (now preserved at the Science Museum in London) and 2 more engines for the steam dredgers “Blazer” and “Plymouth”.

1808 - Trevithick’s third rail locomotive “Catch-me-who-can” was built, supervised by Northumberland engineer John Rastrick, who became an employee..

1807 - problems with the foundry's creditors resurfaced but, despite the financial difficulties, Rastrick ensured that the quality of the foundry’s work remained high.

1810 - John Hazeldine died and Rastrick became a partner in the firm now known as Hazeldine Rastrick & Company.

1811 - work carried out for the Navy Board, including a copper rolling mill and a mine engine.

1812 – order from Trevithick for rock breaking engines for Plymouth breakwater. The foundry also took over the casting of an engine destined for a West Indian sugar cane plantation in St Kitts from Harvey & Company of Hayle. Rastrick ceased as a partner.

1814 – the above engine was sent to Peru rather than the West Indies, along with 8 others built on site, the foundry’s first export order. Thomas Davies and Alexander Brodie joined the partnership.

1815 – orders from Trevithick for several engines for threshing and pumping, as well as a plunger pole engine for Herland Mine in Cornwall.

1816 – parts supplied for the Chepstow Bridge, designed by Rastrick.

1817 – Rastrick left to set up on his own. The firm’s name reverted to Hazeldine & Company.

1823 – Thomas Davies and Robert Hazeldine were declared bankrupt and the works closed.

1824 – the works re-opened .

1829 - some of the foundry’s property was offered for sale.

1834 - the remaining property was divided in half and sold.


Bringewood Forge, Ludlow (SO460738)

15th Century – this may be the site that the unfortunately named landowner sold “… Hugh le Bum of Ludlow sold “… Hugh le Bum of Ludelawe have given to Henry Mattes .... to me in my hands all the moiety of my forge and burgage with all the adjacent land and appurtenances ... the forge of Hugh le Bum son of John le Bum that is the nearer part of that forge of Hugh le Bum ... by my heirs to his heirs and assigns for ever”.

17th Century - recorded as working.


Brockton Smithy, Brockton (SJ317045)

18th Century blacksmith’s workshop.


Bromley’s Forge, Forton Heath (SJ439167)

1623 - built by Sir Basil Brooke.


Brook Farmhouse Forge, Sneinton (SJ607039)

1747 – a charcoal forge was making wrought iron.


Broseley Bottom Coal Furnace, Broseley (SJ683019)

See Coneybury Furnace.


Broseley Ironworks, Broseley (SJ676015)    

1806 - furnace and foundry built. Also known as Guest’s Furnace.

1857 – closed.


Buildwas Bloomery, Buildwas (SJ6404)        

1250  - operated by monks from Buildwas Abbey.


Burford Forge, Burford (SO586684)

1750 – forge built.

1914 – closed.


Calcutts Ironworks, Jackfield (SJ687030)

1767 - George Matthews leased the riverside Calcutts estate from Sir Onesiphorus Paul and built 2 blast furnaces. Their bellows were initially operated by water wheels, the water being pumped back to a reservoir by a steam engine. The waterwheels were replaced by 2 large steam engines to supply the blast, one operated 1767-1828 and the other 1775-1825. There were also 3 coal winding engines, a cannon boring mill powered by steam, a boring mill for cylinders and a boring and turning mill worked by a water wheel.

1772 - Calcutts pig iron was being used in Stour Valley forges.

1778 - Matthews went into partnership with Francs Addenbrooke and they made cannons for the American Civil War.

1786 - the lease was offered for sale and a partnership called Baille, Pocock & Co. took over. It then included two blast furnaces (each capable of producing 40 tons of iron a week), air furnaces, two bar iron forges and three steam engines. By that time, cannon were being manufactured and sold to the Government. In the same year, the lease was acquired by Alexander Brodie, an inventive and enterprising Scottish blacksmith from London. He soon closed the forge and concentrated on the foundry, whose main products were a ship's stove (patented by Brodie) and cannon.

1796 - 32-pounder cannon were being cast, two at a time, and then bored up to eleven at a time in a steam-powered boring mill.

1794 – Brodie and James Glazebrook (a carpenter) built a steam blast engine for use at Calcutts. Brodie was forced by Boulton and Watt to pay £602 compensation for infringing their patent on steam engines.

1796 - pig iron was sent to Lancashire.

1803 - the two furnaces then in blast produced 29 and 15 tons a week, much was used on the premises in armaments production.

1804 - there were 4 furnaces, including a “snapper” worked at times of heavy demand, and Brodie had set up a boring mill.

1811 - Brodie died and at that time the works included two large blast engines, a steam-powered cannon-boring machine, a boring mill for cylinders and a water-powered boring and turning mill. He was succeeded by his nephew Alexander Brodie.

1815 - the works had been badly managed during the war years and were almost ruinous .

1817 – only 2 furnaces were in blast and the works was taken over by William Hazledine, who produced pig, wrought and cast iron.

1823 - 1,822 tons of iron were made.

1828 - the last furnace was blown out.

1831 - James Foster acquired the works, apparently to use its railway to take ore to the River Severn.

1836 - the foundry was demolished.

1874 - W H Smith opened the Calcutts foundry on the former ironworks site, specializing in the production of machinery for the local clay industries.

1957 - Smith's was taken over by Marshall Osborne & Co. Ltd, precision engineers. 

1964 - there were 185 employees.

1982 - the foundry closed when the firm moved to Stafford Park industrial Estate.


Cartway Foundry, Bridgnorth (SO718931)
1834 – opened by Charles Barker to manufacture both iron and brass.

1849 – Charles Barker died but the business was continued by his widow Johanna, her son-in-law Charles Rushton and his son Samuel Rushton.

1914 – closed.


Castle Ironworks, Hadley (SJ676124)

1804 – 2 blast furnaces built by John Wilkinson, probably intended to replace the Willey Ironworks but with little success.

1813 - John Bradley & Company agreed to buy all the iron for 7 years.

1820 - Thomas Jukes Collier & Company operating the works.

1825 - works closed.

1844 - a Bessemer converter was working with a second converter added soon after.

1871 – site acquired by Nettlefold & Chamberlain and restructured, based on designs by Karl Siemens.

1879 - wire and 400-500 tons of bar iron a week were being manufactured.

1886 - the steel plant was dismantled and moved to a new site in Monmouthshire. The site was sold to Benjamin Talbot, formerly of the Haybridge Iron Company, and his son Benjamin Jnr for £13,000. The gas puddling furnaces were converted to conventional open-hearth furnaces for making steel.

1888 - Benjamin Talbot Snr was declared bankrupt and the works closed.

1900 - G F Milnes & Co Ltd opened the new Castle Car Works on the site to build tramcars. There were around 700 employees.

1901 - 701 tramcars were built.

1904 – works ceased due to falling demand fell.

1905 - the United Electric Car Co Ltd bought the site and leased it to the Metropolitan Amalgamated Railway Carriage & Wagon Co Ltd.

1908 - falling orders again forced a closure but most of the employees were offered jobs in the Birmingham area.

1910 - Joseph Sankey & Sons Ltd (later GKN Sankey Ltd) bought the works and imported 100 employees from the Black Country. The Hadley Castle Works specialized in motor vehicle wheels and bodies and expanded with the British motor industry. After the First World War, additional products included chassis frames, office furniture and washing machines.

1939 - there were around 1,500 employees.

1960 - the works were Europe's biggest manufacturer of motor vehicle wheels.

1973 - the works suffered from falling demand.

1978 - the workforce was 6,250, the largest of any Telford firm.

1982 – the workforce had been cut to 2,550.


Caynton Forge, Howle (SJ693230)

1694 – forge built.

1715 – output was 160 tons per year.

1736 – output was 180 tons per year.

1749 – output was 250 tons per year.

1790 – being operated by William Hallen. There were 2 finery forges and a chafery.

1820 – closed.


Chapel Lawn Smithy, Chapel Lawn (SO315763)

Blacksmith’s workshop (tools now at to Snailbeach Mine).


Charlcotte Furnace, Neenton (SO639861)

Worked between 1700-1780, with a waterwheel and bellows. It produced between 200-600 tons of iron per year, with the highest output of 763 tons in 1749-50.


Church Street Foundry, Broseley (SJ677014)

1789 – opened by Banks & Onions.


Cleobury Mortimer Lower Forge, Cleobury Mortimer (SO689747)

1571 – former bloomery converted to a forge.

1576 - leased to John Weston and known as Furnace Mill.

1608 - Cleobury Mortimer manor was purchased by Rowland Lacon who operated the furnaces and forges.

1633 - the blast furnaces ceased operation but the forges were operated by the Blount family.

1715 – output was 180 tons per year.

1736 – output was 200 tons per year.

1749 – output was 250 tons per year.

1830s – closed.


Cleobury Mortimer Upper Forge, Cleobury Mortimer (SO686757)

1563 - blast furnace built on a former bloomery on land granted to Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, and known as Cleobury Dale (aka Cleobury Park).

1571 – a finery forge was leased to Stephen Hadnall and known as the Upper Forge.

1576 – 2 more blast furnaces built and known as Cleobury Park. 

1608 - Cleobury Mortimer manor was purchased by Rowland Lacon who operated the furnaces and forges.

1787 – iron being produced.

1790 – being operated by Botfield & Company. there were 2 finery forges, a chafery and a rolling mill.

1830s – closed.


Coalbrookdale Ironworks, Coalbrookdale (SJ667038 & SJ669042)

See here for fuller description.


Coalport Road Furnace, Broseley (SJ681013)

1806 – blast furnace built by John Guest.

1806 – site acquired by John Onions.

1840 – site closed and demolished. Later built on by Broseley Tileries.


Cole Hall Foundry, Shrewsbury (SJ489126)

1785 - built by William Hazledine and Robert Webster

1787 - Webster ceased being a partner. Knucking Street was later renamed to Hill Street.

1793 - works closed and Hazledine moved the firm to Coleham Foundry.


Coleham Foundry, Shrewsbury (SJ494120)

1793 - built by William Hazledine, who transferred the firm from Knucking Street Foundry. He grew the works in stages until it became one of the largest in the country, employing several hundred workers.

1796 - cast the iron frame for Ditherington Flax Mill at Shrewsbury, the world's first iron-framed building designed by Charles Bage.

1805 – a clock tower was erected on site for the employees.

1840 - heavy machinery included a steam engine and cranes. The workforce totalled over 400.
1878 - part of the business was taken over including a foundry, fitting shop, turning shop, smithy, engine house and a showroom next to the river. The remainder of the foundry buildings stayed in the ownership of the original company and may have housed the cupolas.


Coneybury Furnace, Broseley (SJ683019)

1785 – blast furnace built.

1788 – acquired by William Banks and John Onions trading as Banks & Company and started to supply pig iron to the Stour Valley forges.

1801 - William Wilkinson described the products of the foundry as the neatest he had seen anywhere. At that time the output was 30–35 tons a week.

1803 – William Banks died and Onions bought his share in the firm.

1810 – made the 50 ton “Victory”, one of the first iron boats.

1819 - John Onions Snr died and was succeeded by his son John Onions Jnr trading as Broseley Furnace Company.

1830 - 270 tons of pig iron produced.

1844 – work had ceased but the buildings still stood at the foundry site.


Dark Lane Furnace, Hollinswood (SJ703086)

1833 – 2 blast furnaces built by Thomas, William and Beriah Botfield to supply pig iron to Stirchley Forge.

1881 – furnaces ceased working but the forge continued.

1894 – closed.


Dawley Castle Furnace, Dawley (SJ689063)

1810 - built by Coalbrookdale Company to supply pig iron to Horsehay Ironworks.

1883 – closed.


Donnington Wood Ironworks, Donnington Wood (SJ704125)

1785 - 3 furnaces built by William Reynolds and Joseph Rathbone, on land leased from Earl Gower on the north side of the Donnington Wood Canal. Gower contributed £2,000 to the enterprise.

1786 – 4 melting fineries were built.

1802 – site acquired by the Lilleshall Company.

1859 – site closed and replaced by Old Lodge Fournace.


Dorrington Forge, Longnor (SJ488022)

See Longnor Upper Forge.


Dorrington Smithy, Dorrington (SJ478029)

17th Century blacksmith’s workshop.


Duncot Forge, Uckington (SJ571115)

Worked in conjunction with Upton Forge.


Eagle Ironworks, Snedshill (SJ700097)

See Hollinswood Furnace.


Eardington Lower Forge, Eardington (SO732894)

1778 – connected to the Upper Forge ½ mile away by an underground canal tunnel. It ends abruptly in the cliff face on the river side, 30ft above the River Severn and with no connection to the river. The opening of the tunnel is roughly triangular and is cut by hand with no brick or stone work. It is 9ft wide and 6ft high.

1813 – acquired by James Foster. Stamping and potting, puddling, and finally manufacture of charcoal iron were undertaken.

1889 – closed.


Eardington Upper Forge, Eardington (SO725897)

1778 – connected to the Lower Forge ½ mile away by an underground canal tunnel. The forge building was 70ft x 40ft. The dam still survives, and hand operated sluices in the thickness of the dam allowed the flow of water to be controlled.

1790 – operated by Wheeler & Company. There were 3 finery forges. 2 chaferys, 2 melting fineries and a balling furnace.

1813 – acquired by James Foster. Stamping and potting, puddling, and finally manufacture of charcoal iron were undertaken.

1889 – closed.


Eaton upon Tern Forge, Eaton upon Tern (SJ649230)


Fernhill Forge, Whittington (SJ320321)

1622 – built and worked in conjunction with Maesbury Forge and Ifton Rhyn Blast Furnace.

1633 – Nicholas Maybury was a hammerman at the forge.

1639 -  partnership of Sir Thomas Myddelton, Thomas Mytton and Thomas Kynaston were operating Fernhill Forge.

1660 – since the partners had been Parliamentarians in the English Civil War, their forge was shut down after the restoration of King Charles II.

1750s - land acquired by Arthur Kynaston, who built a new forge using stone from Whittington Castle.


Foster’s Ironworks, Wombridge (SJ699107)

1818 - James Foster leased mines at Wombridge with an obligation to build 2 blast furnaces.

1825 – output was over 5,000 tons of pig iron.

1825 – a third blast furnace was built.

1830 – output was over 7,000 tons ofpigiron.

1843 – closed.

1845 – James Foster moved his furnaces to Madeley Court Ironworks.

1854 - a forge was built on the site previously occupied by the ironworks.

1873 - the company had 10 puddling furnaces and 3 mills and forges.


Gobowen Ironworks, Gobowen (SJ318332)


Grindle Forge, Grindle (SJ753033)

1600 – the forge is mentioned in a lease.

1642 – the forge was worked during the English Civil War by Gilbert Harrison.

1668 - Gilbert Harrison died and the works closed.


Guest’s Furnace, Broseley (SJ676015)

See Broseley Ironworks.


Hampton Loade Forge, Hampton Loade (SO748864)

17th Century – a blast furnace was built but was out of use by the mid-18th Century.

1783 – William Whitmore, who owned the land on the south bank of Paper Mill Brook, was given permission to construct a dam across the brook and divert the water on payment of £21 . He then sublet the land to an unknown person who built the forge.

1790 – the forge was leased to William Jones and at that time was only one finery and nothing else.

1796 - John Thompson was given a 47 year lease of nearly 2 acres of land adjoining Paper Mill Brook to dam the brook and build a forge with two workmen’s houses. Thompson was not to damage “the works” of William Whitmore on the brook.

1797 - Thompson was given a 21 year lease of a further 6 acres of land to erect forges and engines.

1801 - Thompson leased Lye Hall farm (where he was living), Paper Mill Brook and the forge and ferry of William Whitmore. The two forges were combined and the process of puddling was introduced to make wrought iron. Thompson went into partnership with Andrew and George Scales.

1802 – the business was sold to Hampton Loade Iron Company, comprising Andrew Thompson, John Hazledine, John Hincksman, Ann Boulton, William Bates, William Jones and Robert Thompson .

1803 - Ann Boulton left the partnership.

1805 - Andrew Thompson left the partnership.

1806 – William Whitmore leased his land to the company for 21 years.

1810 - John Hazledine died and was replaced by his brother Robert Hazledine.

1816 – William Bates and William Jones were declared bankrupt.

1818 - the entire works were offered for sale.

1819 - Robert Thompson was declared bankrupt. The works was bought by James Foster who expanded the forge, adding new refining plant and a rolling mill. However, the iron industry was in depression at this time and within a short period he embarked on a new venture.

1822 - the forge was rebuilt as a tinplate works. This was not a success.

1826 – tinplate production ceased the forge reverted to producing wrought iron, using charcoal as a fuel in a version of the finery and chafery process. It eventually passed to James’s nephew, William Foster.

1866 - the forge closed at the expiration of its lease.

1890 – all the buildings were demolished.


Hardwick Forge, Stottesdon (SO660819)

1730s - leased to Samuel and Cornelius Hallen. A clause in the lease stipulated that the forge could not be used for refining or drawing iron into bars.


Harley Forge, Harley (SJ589003)

1638 - leased for 10 years to William Boycott and William Fownes. It consisted of a chafery, upper and lower finery and houses for the finer and hammerman.

1658 - leased to Cornelius Hallen of Stourbridge.

1664 – closed.


Haybridge Forge, Hadley (SJ686122)

See Shropshire Ironworks.


Hazledine Foundry, Bridgnorth (SO719931)

See Bridgnorth Foundry.


Hinkshay Furnace, Hinkshay (SJ697073)

1825 – 2 blast furnaces, forge and a rolling mill were built by Thomas, William and Beriah Botfield.

1830 - the works was producing 15,300 tons of pig iron a year, only slightly less than the Lilleshall company who were then the largest producers in Shropshire. It was linked to Stirchley Furnace by a plateway.

1876 - the works were rebuilt and a nail factory was established on the site.

1885 - the nail factory closed.

1900 - the rolling mill closed.
1902 - the forge was still operating and connected to a network of plateways linking industrial concerns in the vicinity of the railhead at Stirchley.

1927- the works had been demolished and the plateways lifted.


Hollinswood Furnace, Hollinswood (SJ700097)

1787- John Wilkinson built a blast furnace.

1793 – a Newcomen engine was installed to provide the blast.

1794 - works closed but subsequently acquired by the Eagle Iron Company who made steel on a small scale.

1887 – company went into liquidation and the works closed.


Hopton Wafers Forge, Hopton Wafers (SO638762)


Horsehay Ironworks, Horsehay (SJ674071)

1754 - 2 furnaces built by Coalbrookdale Company.

1817 - the works had 3 furnaces, 2 forges, 2 rolling mills and a slitting mill.

1862 – the furnaces had been blown out.

1873 - the works were said to produce all kinds of iron "from a rail bar to a wire rod".

1886 – works closed and replaced by the firm of Simpsons, who bridges and large engineering assemblages.

1845 – the works began to concentrate on cranes and heavy steelwork. The firm eventually became known as A B . Cranes.

1971 - the foundry ceased working.

1986 – closed.


Hubbals Mill Forge, Cross Houses (SO691916)

1631 – Sir William Whitmore altered the course of Mor Brook by replacing a corn mill with a forge. It leased to John Weld.

1632 – shown on an estate map as having 2 water wheels to power bellows at the finery and chafery, although a third wheel would be expected for a trip-hammer. It was receiving supplies of iron from Hurst Furnace.

1640s – leased by Richard Brindley.

1652 - the lease of the forge was transferred from Richard Brindley to Thomas Foley for £65 per annum. Charcoal was being obtained from Billingsley and woods in Eardington.
1669 - Philip Foley, son of Thomas, held the lease of the forge. It received pig iron from Grange Furnace near Wolverhampton and Hales Furnace near Halesowen, making high quality Osmund iron which was sent to Bridgnorth and Bewdley. Some Osmund iron was sent all the way to Tintern in the Forest of Dean. It was making around 50 tons of iron a year but was £40-£50 a year.

1672 - Philip Foley gave up the forge and it was bought from the Whitmore family by John Weld. He intended to demolish the forge and use anything useful at his other iron works. An inventory drawn up at the closure listed :-

“1 hammer, beam and gudgeons £13-0-0
 1 finery wheel and shaft £4-0-0
 1 puppitt and 2 logs 10/-
 1 hoop about the anvil block, a collerony and a rabbitt 9/-
 Several implements as by a schedule of ye particulars appears which was to be left at the expiring of the lease £38-1-10
 Total £56-0-10
 Md of my wt shall have ye anvil block with all ye plates in it and all ye cast and wrought iron in general, in and about ye work. Sir John to be at ye charge of taking down  

 the chimney so as to take the lintel and the hoops on the chaffery and the 2 fineries excepted”.

Hurst Furnace, Morville (SO673959)

1561 – charcoal blast furnace built.

1618 – still working.

1631 – supplying iron to Hubbals Mill Forge.


Ifton Rhyn Furnace, Ifton Rhyn (SJ3137)

1622 – built and worked in conjunction with Fernhill Forge and Maesbury Forge.

1624 - leased to William Boycott and William Fownes, who sold pig iton to Lizard Forge.

1662 – leased to Sir Thomas Myddelton by his son Sir Thomas Myddleton Jnr.  Thomas Williams was appointed as overseer of the forge.


Kemberton Furnace, Kemberton (SJ743045)

1650 – charcoal fired blast furnace built.

1717 – still working.

1728 – still working.

1760s – closed.


Kenley Forge, Kenley (SJ5600)

1590 - a blast furnace was built by Rowland Lacon.

1591 – furnace leased to Richard Holbeck.

1638 – leased by William Fownes.

1708 – closed.


Ketley Ironworks, Ketley (SJ672109)

1757 - blast furnace built by Coalbrookdale Company.

1758 – second blast furnace built.

1776 – there were 3 blast furnaces at work.

1785 – a forge was built.

1786 – 2 finery forges and 6 melting fineries were built.

1787 – rolling mill and slitting mill were built.

1796 – works acquired by William Reynolds & Company and became the fifth largest in Britain.

1804 – there were 6 blast furnaces at work.

1806 – output was 7,500 tons of pig iron per annum. The foundry made large castings for civil and mechanical engineers and the forge made plates and rods.

1816 – works closed due to falling demand.

1818 – the Ketley Company acquired the works and brought 3 blast furnaces and the forge back into work.

1823 – output was 5,000 tons of pig iron per annum.

1830 - output was 750 tons of pig iron per annum.

1873 – there had been no recent investment so the forge was comparatively small, having only 20 puddling furnaces.

1876 - the Ketley Company was dissolved and the works were offered for sale. Potential buyers commented that it was not worth continuing and the works manager, John Williams, suggested that demolition of the forge would make it a more attractive proposition. “Everyone who has been to look over the Ketley Works condemns the forges and mill plant. They say Best Bars can be made cheaper in South Staffordshire. There is no doubt they are correct in what they state and under these circumstances it would, in my opinion, be advisable to sell off the plant without further delay”.

1879 - the site was eventually purchased by Nettlefolds Ltd, who retained John Williams as estate manager. Nettlefolds had no interest in maintaining the blast furnaces at Ketley, which did not work again.

1924 - James Clay (Wellington) Ltd, makers of agricultural machinery and implements, acquired the site and moved their Wrekin Foundry from Wellington.

1929 - the firm became a subsidiary of Allied Ironfounders Ltd.

1958 – part of the site was being used by the Sinclair Iron Company.

1960 - Aga Heat Ltd, another Allied Ironfounders subsidiary, moved to the site from Smethwick to make solid-fuel cookers and domestic water heaters.

1962 - Allied Ironfounders Ltd turned the factory into its Aga Works, to make motor-vehicle and other small castings as well as domestic appliances.

1964 - there were 231 employees.

1969 - the company became part of Glynwed Foundries Ltd.

1975 - the foundry closed but the works continued as the Aga-Rayburn division of Glynwed Appliances Ltd.


Knockin Forge, Knockin (SJ334223)

19th Century.


Knucking Street Foundry, Shrewsbury (SJ489126)

See Cole Hall Foundry.


Langley Field Furnace, Dawley (SJ690072)

1824 – blast furnace built.

1825 – second blast furnace built.

1852 – only one furnace working.

1875 – closed.


Lawley Furnace, Lawley (SJ667093)

1822 – blast furnace built.

1830 - over 3000 tons of pig iron were made.

1847 - the works were leased to the Coalbrookdale Company.

1870 – closed.


Lee Smithy, Lee (SJ405324)

17th Century - blacksmith’s workshop

1970 – closed.


Leighton Furnace, Leighton (SJ610056)

1632 - charcoal blast furnace built by Sir Richard Newport, who leased the site and converted a previous corn mill. The blast for the furnace was produced by 2 bellows, which were driven by an overshot waterwheel from a central shaft. The bellows chambers were situated opposite the hearth. The furnace supplied pig iron to Sneinton Forge.

1633 - an agreement was made to construct a new road to the River Severn so the pig iron could be exported.

1638 – leased by William Fownes and William Boycott.

1642 - a shot foundry was established to produce cannon balls and other munitions for the Royalist cause in the English Civil War. The shot was also stored there.

1644 – put out of action by Parliamentary forces commanded by General Waller.

1655 - a new lease was granted to Philip Foley.

1666 - leased to Francis Boycott and partners.

1685 – mentioned as still working.

1698 – mentioned as still working.

1717 - output was 400 tons of pig iron.

1760s – closed.
1800 - the waterwheel pit was widened to allow for the cast wheel which replaced the previous wooden one.


Lightmoor Furnace, Lightmoor (SJ682053)

1740 - William Ferriday erected a fire-engine cylinder and pump works at Lightmoor.

1755 - a forge was operating.

1758 - 3 blast furnaces built by a partnership.

1787 – lease acquired by Francis and John Addenbrooke, at that time there were only 2 furnaces.

1789 - the first engines were provided for the Old Park Ironworks.

1800 - a Boulton and Watt steam engine was erected to blow 2 furnaces and 4 fineries.

1802- the works had 3 furnaces, a few refineries and bloom or balling furnaces.

1822 - there was a slump in sales, which led to rioting around the local works.

1839 - two rows of workers houses, Cokers Row and Pool Row, were built. There were 3 furnaces, a foundry plus adjacent coal, ironstone and clay pits. The works were acquired by the Coalbrookdale Company.

1878 – the works closed but brick, tile and pottery manufacture continued on site.

1935 – works sold by the Coalbrookdale Company.


Lilleshall Furnace, Lilleshall (SJ727149)

1585 - a bloom forge was working in Lilleshall village at the "Pool".

1591 – blast furnace built.

1634 – the site was recorded as being by the pond "at Lilleshall towns end".

1717 – the site was still working.

1805 – the Lilleshall Company acquired the site

1873 - steam hammers were being manufactured.


Lizard Forge, Tong Norton (SJ788089)

1564 – the Earl of Shrewsbury converted a bloomery into a finery forge, using iron from Shifnal blast furnace.
1804 – making wrought iron.

1715 – output was 80 tons per year.

1736 – output was 140 tons per year.

1749 – output was 200 tons per year.

1750s – acquired by John Turner, who supplied it with pig iron from his blast furnace at Lawton in Cheshire.

1790 – being operated by William Hazledine. There was a finery forge and a chafery.

19th Century – still working.

Lodge Furnace, Donnington Wood (SJ717122)

1825 – 2 blast furnaces were built by the Lilleshall Company.

1859 – 5 blast furnaces in operation producing pig iron.

1888 -  closed.


Longnor Lower Forge, Longnor (SJ486014)

1605 – blast furnace built by Richard Holbeck.

1696 - leased to Francis Boycott and partners.


Longnor Upper Forge, Longnor (SJ488022)

1606 – built by Richard Holbeck.

1696 - leased to Francis Boycott and partners.

1715 – output was 150 tons per year.

1736 – output was 100 tons per year.

1749 – output was 140 tons per year.

1790 – being operated by William Jones.  There were 2 finery forges.


Lubstree Forge, Preston upon the Weald Moors (SJ690150)

1580 – Walter Leveson replaced the abbot’s mill with a forge and water-driven hammers on Humber Brook.

1583 – the pond is recorded as having been brought back into use only in recent years.

1600 - Robert Dawe was working the Lubstree Forge or "hammer smithy".

1678 -  the neighbourhood was known as The Hammers.

1881 – the name had been corrupted to The Humbers.


Lydham Smithy, Lydham (SO336910)

Blacksmith’s workshop.


Madeley Court Ironworks, Madeley (SJ700053)

1828 - James Foster bought the land and began to exploit the mineral resources.

1843 - coke blast furnaces built.

1845 – Foster moved his furnaces here from Wombridge.

1902 – closed.


Madeley Wood Furnace, Madeley (SJ678035)

See Bedlam Furnace.


Maesbury Forge, Maesbury (SJ3125)

1622 – built and worked in conjunction with Fernhill Forge and Ifton Rhyn Furnace.

1641 -  partnership of Sir Thomas Myddelton, Thomas Mytton and Thomas Kynaston were operating Maesbury Forge.


Mill Street Foundry, Bridgnorth (SO720931)

1839 – opened by William and Alexander Pope.

1901 - Maria Pope (daughter-in-law of Alexander) worked at the firm and was described as a blacksmith. The firm closed soon after.


Moreton Forge, Morton Mill (SJ575229)

1601 – built by Sir John Corbet.

1649 – rented by William Browne and John Tenshopp.

1666 – output was 140 tons per annum.

1685 – leased by Andrew Payne. Richard Knight employed as a manager until 1700.

1715 – output was 140 tons per year.

1736 – output was 80 tons per year.

1721 - for a 20 month period, the profit was £538 19s 0d. At that time the annual output of the forge was about 140 tons, so they were making about £2 6s a ton profit after all expenses had been paid.

1735 – there was a forge, forge wood, forge pool, watewheel and dam with the millrace system fed by the Roden.

1757 - leased to John Wilkinson and Edmund Blakeway.

1759 - leased to another group.

1760 - new forge built on the site.

1790 – still in use but closed soon afterwards.

Moss Road Furnace, Wrockwardine Wood (SJ704119)

1801 - 2 blast furnaces were built.

1802 – acquired by the Lilleshall Company.

1826 – closed.


New Hadley Furnace, Hadley (SJ684116)

1804 - John Wilkinson built two blast furnaces.

1825 – closed.


New Willey Furnace, Willey (SJ674006)

1757 - opened by John Wilkinson to  produce cast and bar iron, as well as being equipped to bore cannon, steam engine cylinders, pumps, etc. There were three Boulton and Watt steam engines.

1804 – Wilkinson gave up the works, which were carried on by George Forester.

1821 – furnace ceased.

1827 - all traces of the works had disappeared.


Newdale Foundry, Newdale (SJ673097)

1759 – blast furnace built by Coalbrookdale Company, together with an ironworks and steam engine, but soon closed.


Norton Forge, Norton in Hales (SJ704379)

1646 - forge built by Walter Chetwynd and supplied with pig iron by his blast furnace at Heighley,Staffordshire.

1715 – output was 100 tons per year.

1736 – output was 150 tons per year.

1749 – output was 150 tons per year.

1790 – operated by Wheeler & Company. There were 2 finery forges and a chafery.

19th Century – forge still working.


Norton Forge, Tong Norton (SJ784083)

See Tong Forge.


Nox Forge, Nox (SJ411104)


Old Park Furnace, Ketley Bank (SJ696095)

1790 - 4 blast furnaces and forge built by Thomas Botfield Snr.

1801 – Thomas Botfield Snr died and the firm was taken over by his three sons Beriah, Thomas Jnr and William. William managed the works but all 3 brothers met there each quarter to divided the profits.

1807 - the output of pig iron was 9,200 tons, half of which was converted to wrought iron in the work’s forges. By this time, the Old Park works was the largest ironworks in Shropshire and the second largest in Great Britain.

1855 - when the lease expired, Beriah Botfield III initially negotiated a one year extension.

1856 - lease not renewed. Taken up by the Old Park Iron Company. There were 14 puddling furnaces and 3 charcoal fineries.

1869 - the 4 blast furnaces were described by the works manager Thomas Plum as nearly 50 years old and all approximately 45ft high. One of these furnaces was rebuilt and raised to 60ft in height but continued to smelt with cold blast.

1871 – there were 31 furnaces (a combination of puddling furnaces, charcoal fineries and heating furnaces).

1872- the forge ceased working and the company went into liquidation.

1873 - the Old Park Estate was sold to Edward Thomas, who leased the works to the Wellington Iron & Coal Company.

1877 - the furnaces ceased working.


Onion’s Foundry, Broseley (SJ676015)

See Broseley Ironworks.


Park Lane Forge, Ironbridge (SJ6804)

17th Century – forge built.

18th Century – closed.


Pedington Forge, Enchmarsh (SO501963)


Pitchford Forge, Pitchford (SJ534056)

1715 – forge built by William Corfield. Output was 150 tons per year.

1736 – output was 70 tons per year.

1746 – leased by Richard Jordan.

1753 – leased by John Gibbons and Jeremiah Caswell. Gibbons was a Kingswinford nailer and the acquisition of the forge ensured a supply of raw material for his manufacturing business

1789 – leased by William Hazledine for the production of wrought iron.

1790 – there was a finery forge and a chafery.

1810 – closed.


Prescott New Forge, Prescott (SO662804)

1708 – corn mill leased to Peter Hussey and converted into a plating forge making frying pans.

1715 – now a finery forge and output was 120 tons per year. Acquired by Richard Knight and George Crump.

1730s - leased to Samuel and Cornelius Hallen. A clause in the lease stipulated that the forge could not be used for refining or drawing iron into bars.

1749 – lease re-negotiated and now producing bar irons. Output was 100 tons per year.

1790 – being operated by Botfield and Company.

1794 – closed.


Priorslee Ironworks, Priorslee (SJ703099)

1851 - 4 furnaces built by the Lilleshall Company.

1959 –closed.


Quam Smithy, Wrockwardine Wood (SJ7012)

1277 - the “qualme smytthe” (meaning the smithy of the spring) was in existence near Quam Pool.

1804 - the area had been built over by ironworks and mines.


Queenswood Furnace, Old Park (SJ694094)

1802 – blast furnace built by the Coalbrookdale Company to supply pig iron to Ketley ironworks. The iron was described by Boulton & Watt as “answering very well”.

1817 – closed.        


Ridges Bloom Smithy, Lightmoor (SJ681054)

1580 - there was a bloom smithy at the Ridges.

1631 - Ridges Farm included a smithy, coppice and ironstone mine.


Rotherham New Forge, Prescott (SO662804)

See Prescott New Forge.


Ryton Slitting Mill, Ryton (SJ759029)

1683 - former corn mill that had burned down was leased for use as a slitting mill and paper mill.  Each of these had their own waterwheel.

1790 – closed.


Sambrook Forge, Sambrook (SJ713249)

1690 – forge built.

1715 – output was 90 tons per year.

1717 – reference to a charcoal forge.

1736 – the forge was still working.      

1790 – being operated by William Hallen. There was a chafery and a balling furnace.


Sheinton Forge, Sheinton (SJ6103)

1637 – forge built.

1696 - leased to Francis Boycott and partners.

1715 – output was 100 tons per year.

1736 – output was 50 tons per year.


Shifnal Furnace, Shifnal (SJ742069)

1564 - the second charcoal blast furnace outside the Weald and the first in Shropshire was built.

1604 – a letter describing work at Shifnal Manor House refers to "… your honours temes hear be greatly occupied in leading colles to the furnes and to the hameres".

1620 – closed.


Shirlett Bloomery, Shirlett (SO6698)

13th Century – operated by monks from Wenlock Priory.


Shropshire Ironworks, Hadley (SJ686122)

1866 - works opened by Benjamin Talbot of the Haybridge Iron Company, making wire rods.

1935 - producing iron and steel bars and sections.

1950 - much of the output was for export.

1964 - there were 307 employees

1983 - closed.


Smith’s Foundry, Jackfield (SJ687030)

See Calcutts Ironworks.  


Smithy Pool Forge, Lawley (SJ670083)

1180 – Hugh the Smith is recorded as having a forge.


Snedshill Ironworks , Snedshill (SJ699106)

1778 – John Wilkinson built 2 furnaces and a forge. At the latter, stamping and potting, puddling, and finally manufacture of charcoal iron were undertaken. The site was the first in Shropshire to be completely independent of water power.

1796 – output was 3,400 tons of pig iron.

1807 - managed by John Horton and acquired by the Lilleshall Company.

1830 - only 317 tons of pig iron were produced. The blast furnaces were shut down but a forge was built to make wrought iron.

1855 - the Snedhill Bar Iron Company was formed and acquired the site. It rapidly became established as one of the country's leading wrought iron makers with 35 puddling furnaces and 8 charcoal hearths.

1886 - the Snedshill Bar Iron Company was absorbed into the Lilleshall Company.

1925 – closed.


Stirchley Furnace, Stirchley (SJ701075)

1826 - 2 blast furnaces built by Thomas & William Botfield.

1830 - they were producing 15,300 tons of pig iron a year, only slightly less than the Lilleshall Company who were then the largest producers in Shropshire.

1852 - merchant, hoop, sheet and plate mills were built.

1872 – an inventory listed 29 puddling furnaces and a new forge. No steam hammers in use, only water-operated tilt-hammers. Neither the forge nor the furnaces were profitable and the forge was working at a reduced capacity and closed that year

1873 - the trustees of Botfield’s estate were instructed to sell by Isabella, Beriah Botfield’s widow. The works was bought for £25,000 by the Haybridge Iron Company. Production of pig iron continued as before but the Haybridge Iron Company does not appear to have taken any interest in maintaining production at the forge.

1874 - the company built a nailworks on the site of the forge, employing Samuel Vowles as manager.

1876 - the nailworks was sold for £2,500 to John Maddock, formerly one of the partners.

1878 – closed.


Sutherland Forge, Tibberton (SJ683203)


Sutton Lower Forge, Meole Brace (SJ503108)

1731 - Herbert Mackworth acquired the land and converted of the old corn mill to a forge.

1754 – the forge is recorded as working.

1775 - the land was acquired by the Sutton family and they closed the forge, turning it back into a corn mill.


Sutton Upper Forge, Meole Brace (SJ491107)

1718 - forge built by Thomas Harvey.

1726 - the clapper of the great bell at St Chad's was repaired at Sutton Forge.

1736 – output was 50 tons per year.

1749 – output was 260 tons per year.

1766 – leased by John Gibbons and Jeremiah Caswell. Gibbons was a Kingswinford nailer, whose acquisition of the forge ensured a supply of raw material for his business.


Tern Forge, Atcham (SJ551099)

1710 – a 50 year lease was acquired by Thomas Harvey of Stourbridge and several Bristol Quakers, for whom Abraham Darby I of Coalbrookdale acted as agent. It initially combined iron and brass production, incorporating brass rolling mills, a mill for rolling iron barrel hoops and a wire mill, and was justifiably claimed by Thomas Harvey to be the first joint works of its kind in England.

1713 - a finery forge and a cementation furnace for manufacturing steel were built.

1715 - output was 300 tons per year.

1717 - output was 300 tons of wrought iron per annum. Considerable investment had been made in capital equipment, including machinery for making nails, a wire mill, a forge and furnace for converting Iron into steel, workshops for 40 men and a large forge hammer. Brass work was also carried out.

1720s - William Wood of Stourbridge was briefly the tenant. It was a conventional finery forge buying some of its pig iron from Ruabon.

1734 – lease acquired by Joshua Gee.

1736 – output was 150 tons per year.

1749 – output was 150 tons per year.

1755 – lease was not renewed and works closed.


Tibberton Slitting Mill, Tibberton (SJ666211)

1653 – opened as slitting mill.

1790 – being operated by William Hallen.

1804 – closed.        


Ticklerton Forge, Ticklerton (SO485908)


Tong Forge, Tong Norton (SJ784083)

1671 – reference to it working

1785 - Thomas Barker was Ironmaster.


Towns End Mill, Lilleshall (SJ727149)

See Lilleshall Furance.


Trench Ironworks, Trench (SJ684123)

1877 - two steam hammers in operation.

1869 – works closed.

1872 – site acquired by Shropshire Iron Company, who extended it.

1873 – the Patchett family had the controlling interest and James Patchett was managing director until the general strike of 1926.

1879 - using pig iron from the Lilleshall Company to produce 400 tons of wire rods and 100-150 tons of wire a week.

1931 - works closed making around 400 men redundant.

1942 - K J & A Sommerfeld Ltd acquired the works and made emergency runways and portable roadways.

1947 - making steel building components and furniture.

1964 - there were 136 employees .

1967 - the firm had worldwide exports.

1973 - part of the site was occupied by a firm dealing in scrap metal and motor spares.

1979 - Sommerfelds moved to Doseley, leaving the site to the scrap metal firm.


Uffington Slitting Mill, Uffington (SJ527138)

1780 –slitting mill built.

1790 – being operated by Wheeler & Company.

1795 – closed.


Underhill Street Foundry, Bridgnorth (SO717928)
1861 – opened by James Roden Snr and Henry Knott to manufacture iron and brass.

1865 - partnership dissolved.  Business taken over by Roden’s son, James Roden Jnr, and developed as a light engineering firm.

1926 – closed.


Upper Rea Ironworks, Uckington (SJ571115)

See Duncot Forge.


Upton Forge, Upton Magna (SJ560113)

1653 – forge built.

1675 - recorded as working.

1680s - was part of a group of ironworking sites which included Leighton Furnace. It belonged to the same family which owned Duncote Mills. The two sites were often leased out together, indicating that buildings associated with ironworking extended as far upstream as Duncote Mills.

1711-- recorded as being one of the largest forges in the country with an output was 200 tons per annum.

1715 – output was 200 tons per year.

1717 - output was 200 tons per annum.

1736 – output was 200 tons per year.

1734 – acquired by Joshua Gee.

1749 – output was 260 tons per year.

1750 – acquired by Francis Dorset. The forge was repaired and extended.

1790 – operated by Wheeler & Company. There were 3 finery forges and a chafery.

1797 - leased by William Hallen.

1800 - leased by William Hazeldine and William Hallen, who developed it into a significant operation for the supply of wrought iron. The most famous orders were the chains for the Menai and Conwy Bridges. The works extended over about 2 miles of the valley. There were two separate forge sites, as well as a complex system of leats and pools originating north of Duncot in a weir across the Tern.
1840 – William Hazledine died and the works closed.


Vennington Forge, Vennington (SJ340096)


Wallop Smithy, Westbury (SJ329077)


Westbury Forge, Westbury (SJ356094)


Willey Furnace, Willey (SJ672978)

1609 - a blast furnace was erected by Rowland Lacon and was subsequently owned by John Weld. Iron-rich waste from a former nearby bloomery was used in the charge for the blast furnace.

1774 – closed.


Wistanstow Forge, Wistanstow (SO432857)

1500s – forge built.

1914 – closed.


Withington Forge, Walcot (SJ595125)


Wombridge Ironworks, Wombridge (SJ693118)

13th Century – worked as a bloomery by monks from Wombridge Priory.

1634 – converted to a blast furnace .

1663 - leased to Thomas Foley.

1701 – Shadrach Fox acquired the site and placed his brother Thomas in charge of a blast furnace, to which Isaac Hawkins supplied a large quantity of coal and ironstone.

1824 – third blast furnace built.

1825 - over 5,000 tons of pig iron produced.

1830 - over 7000 tons of pig iron produced.

1873 - the company reputedly had 10 puddling furnaces and 3 mills and forges.

1902 – closed.


Wrekin Foundry, Wellington (SJ649113)

1838 - Margaret Jones & Son had an iron and brass foundry on the north side of Newhall Street (later Foundry Lane).

1851 - the foundry belonged to William Mansell.

1891 - site occupied 2 acres and made industrial machinery.

1902 - foundry acquired by Duncan Sinclair.

1905 – aquired by James Clay and Company.

1911 - T O Lander and James Clay formed James Clay (Wellington) Ltd.

1924 – firm moved to Ketley.


Wrens Nest Lower Forge, Shirlett (SO674976)

1775 - John Wright, Joseph Jesson and Richard Jesson leased land on the south side of the brook, where they built a forge and ironworks. Stamping and potting, puddling, and finally manufacture of charcoal iron were undertaken.

1790 – there was a chafery, 2 melting fineries and  2 balling furnaces.

1808 - the sites along the Lower Linley Brook were collectively called Wrens Nest forges. Pig iron came from Barnett's Leasow Furnace, Snedshill Furnace and Horsehay Furnaces.

1815 – closed.


Wrens Nest Upper Forge, Shirlett (SO701981)

18th Century forge.


Wrockwardine Wood Furnace, Wrockwardine Wood (SJ702115)

1801 – 1830 2 furnaces.


Wyle Cop Foundry, Shrewsbury (SJ489126)

See Cole Hall Foundry.


Wytheford Forge, Great Wytheford (SJ572188)

1642 – forge built.

1665 – recorded as being operated on a big scale by Sir Francis Charlton and worth £130 per annum.

1715 – output was 140 tons per year.

1736 – output was 150 tons per year.

1749 – output was 250 tons per year.

1765 – now only worth £60 per annum.

1790 – being operated by J Dorset. There were 2 finery forges and a chafery.

1792 - said to be "much out of repair" and worth only £20 per annum.



Moreton Forge


Shropshire Wrought Iron Industry