Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Charles Bage

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Charles Woolley Bage (1751–1822) was an English architect, born in Derby, Derbyshire, in the United Kingdom.

He was the designer of the first ever iron framed building, the Ditherington Flax Mill, located in the outskirts of Shrewsbury town centre, built between 1796 and 1797.

Shortly after his birth, his family moved to Elford, Staffordshire, where his father founded a papermill, later becoming a partner in an ironworks. Throughout his life, Bage took an interest in the application of iron and gas technologies in construction and lighting, respectively. Bage senior was also a novelist.

By 1776, Bage was working as a wine merchant in Shrewsbury, and also as a surveyor, the latter being of interest to John Marshall and Thomas and Benjamin Benyon, who intended to develop mills in the town.

Bage had involvement in the local political affairs of Shrewsbury: he was in charge of the local workhouse from 1784 to 1787, and later served as the town's mayor in 1807.

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