Ancient Monuments

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Brymbo Ironworks: Early Blast Furnace, Cast House & Foundry

A Scheduled Monument in Brymbo, Wrexham (Wrecsam)

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Latitude: 53.0743 / 53°4'27"N

Longitude: -3.0544 / 3°3'15"W

OS Eastings: 329455

OS Northings: 353526

OS Grid: SJ294535

Mapcode National: GBR 73.B8K9

Mapcode Global: WH88R.1ZSK

Entry Name: Brymbo Ironworks: Early Blast Furnace, Cast House & Foundry

Scheduled Date: 7 November 1991

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 3811

Cadw Legacy ID: DE202

Schedule Class: Industrial

Category: Industrial monument

Period: Post Medieval/Modern

County: Wrexham (Wrecsam)

Community: Brymbo

Built-Up Area: Wrexham

Traditional County: Denbighshire


The monument consists of the remains of an ironworks established by John Wilkinson in 1798, remaining in use through to its adaptation to a huge steelworks, all eventually abandoned in 1990. The principal scheduled remains comprise the massive rectangular sandstone stack of the early 19th century No. 1 blast furnace occupying the site of Wilkinson's original which is known from an early print to have been circular. This stands to its full height, the walls held together with steel ties, although three of its four great arches contain later blocking. Immediately adjacent to the S are the remains of a contemporary stone cast house and to the east of that the roofless but substantially intact remains of a large foundry, both of which were subject to successive later alterations and repairs in brick and other materials. The southern walls of both structures form part of a tall and massively built continuous sandstone revetment or charge wall holding back the uphill slope. Two chambers set into this contain the rusting remains of early 20th century iron furnaces, their rusting towering cupolas at the top of the revetment wall being perhaps the most prominent features on the site. Adjoining the foundry to the east is long rectangular pattern maker's shop, which occupies three split levels with the lower at the level of the foundry and the top floor entered independently from the higher ground to the S. Numerous other documented or mapped features have been lost but are likely to survive as buried features following successive episodes of massive landscaping, including at least four additional furnaces. Associated with the scheduled remains are the upstanding early 19th century Agent's House, a colliery, the impressive 20th century brick machine shop and a network of ancillary tracks, railways, retaining walls.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of the early modern ironmaking industry and its development through the 19th and 20th centuries. In addition to its well preserved structures, which retain extensive details and fixings including floors, machinery and other artefacts the whole site retains high archaeological potential, with a strong probability of the presence of buried structural remains including other documented furnaces, railway tracks and ancillary buildings, and associated archaeological features and deposits. These have high collective potential to retain evidence of the construction, development and use of the site including evolving industrial processes, machinery, construction techniques and raw materials. The scheduled remains share group value with the other upstanding and buried elements of the ironworks, later steelworks, colliery, tracks, railways and other structures.

The scheduled area comprises the remains described and areas around them within which related evidence may be expected to survive.

Source: Cadw

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