Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Derwent Iron Co

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Iron works, of Consett

1840 The Derwent Iron Company was promoted by Mr. Jonathan Richardson and a small group of entrepreneurs to lease ironstone in the district of Consett, as well as several large royalties of coal. Blast-furnaces were erected, and rolling mills laid down, the ironstone for the former being obtained from shafts sunk in the immediate neighbourhood.

Over the next 100 years, the town became one of the world's leading steel making towns. Steel dominated Consett visually in terms of its landscape, the town becoming renowned for the pall of red dust that hung over it. The dust was actually airborne iron oxide from the steel making plant.

1851 Award at the 1851 Great Exhibition. See details at 1851 Great Exhibition: Reports of the Juries: Class V.

1857 The Derwent and Consett Iron Company was formed to acquire the assets of the previous company which had large debts to a bank which had failed. But this company could not proceed so the business was again put up for sale.

1864 Consett Iron Co Ltd was formed to acquire the works at Consett, Crookhall, and Bradley, consisting of 18 blast-furnaces, with puddling forges, extensive plate, angle and bar mills, and other adjuncts, producing 80,000 tons of pig iron per annum, and from 40,000 to 50,000 tons of finished iron. 500 acres of freehold land, attached to the Works, and more than 1000 freehold cottages, with manager's house and offices, were included in the purchase, as well as coal royalties.

1866 See 1866 Cleveland Blast Furnaces for detail of furnaces

See Also


Sources of Information

  • Consett Iron works [1]