Was this the birthplace of a revolution that changed the world?


Coalbrookdale is a truly significant place in the history of the Industrial Revolution. It was here that Abraham Darby changed ironmaking by using coke instead of charcoal and his original furnace is preserved as a historic reminder.

Ancestors forged in iron!


The only sounds now are the calls of the Jackdaws in the swaying rustling trees and the gurgling of the River Duddon just 50 metres away. Once, these woods reverberated to the pounding of hammers, the squeaks of wheelbarrows, the swish of a water wheel, and the roaring of an early Industrial Revolution iron blast … Continue reading Ancestors forged in iron!

Three “cast iron” events that defined my immediate ancestors lives … and mine!


Between 1855 and the end of that century a number of significant events occurred that impacted on the lives of my ancestors, and directly on my own life too. They placed our lives within a context, a history of the times, something which I am finding to be the most interesting part of my family … Continue reading Three “cast iron” events that defined my immediate ancestors lives … and mine!

4. Steel-Historic Duddon Bridge Furnace


A wonderful site of industrial archaeology, Duddon Furnace in South Cumbria, UK. Built in 1736 it operated as a charcoal burning iron Blast Furnace until 1867. Once overgrown with weeds and brambles, I used to play here as a child. Now a Grade II listed building and managed by English Heritage it has been cleaned … Continue reading 4. Steel-Historic Duddon Bridge Furnace

3. A Steel Revolution


3. A Steel Revolution!
Having destroyed most of our recent industrial past, thank goodness we at least preserved the furnace and the story of how Abraham Darby, in 1709, revolutionised ironmaking and paved the way for the great Industrial Revolution. This is real industrial archaeology!

Buddha walks into a wine bar ...

Area #1: The Industrial Midlands, Coalbrookdale

I can write no better an introduction to the Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron than to quote from the opening display:

“Iron is everywhere – it is the fourth most common constituent of the earths crust. It is in our blood and part of a healthy diet. Iron is in our vocabulary and there is a word for iron in almost every known language. Iron is taken to represent strength and steel as a symbol of determination. Iron is a part of everyday life and a basic component of the world in which we live now. Our world is a product of the Industrial Revolution which gathered pace from 1700 and in which this corner of Shropshire was to play a major role.”

“The history of ironmaking stretches back over 4 thousand years but some of the most important events in the development of ironmaking…

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