Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Brymbo Lead Smelting Works

A Scheduled Monument in Brymbo, Wrexham (Wrecsam)

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Latitude: 53.0773 / 53°4'38"N

Longitude: -3.0692 / 3°4'9"W

OS Eastings: 328469

OS Northings: 353880

OS Grid: SJ284538

Mapcode National: GBR 72.B4ZG

Mapcode Global: WH77L.TXN6

Entry Name: Brymbo Lead Smelting Works

Scheduled Date: 10 February 1993

Source: Cadw

Source ID: 1017

Cadw Legacy ID: DE233

Schedule Class: Industrial

Category: Industrial monument

Period: Post Medieval/Modern

County: Wrexham (Wrecsam)

Community: Brymbo

Traditional County: Denbighshire


The monument consists of the remains of an industrial building. Brymbo Lead Smelting Works was built c.1792 by John Wilkinson. The works continued into the 1880s and were converted to carbon manufacture but did not alter radically in layout. The buildings at the north have been demolished but wall footings suggest archaeological potential. Up the slope to the south several terraced areas and flues survive. At the top of the hill ' Brymbo Bottle ' as part of the system for collecting lead sublimated in smelting. Complex flues were built at other lead smelters, but bottle chimneys seem to have been distinctive to Wilkinson's works, and Brymbo's is the only one to survive. The 'bottle' consisted of a rubble cone topped by a firebrick chimney over 100 feet high with radial flues in its base. Two openings through the wall have curved iron lintels and one recently filled on the north-north-west appears to be a collapse. Beam holes may have been connected with controlling fumes and providing precipitation surfaces. North-west of the bottle are oblong foundations, probably another condensing chamber, with flues entering it. Several flues can be traced as collapsed channels or tunnels which divide into perhaps a dozen flues near the furnace sites. The scheduled area conforms to existing boundaries except at the north-east where it cuts a corner for 90 metres to omit a colliery spoil tip.

The monument is of national importance for its potential to enhance our knowledge of 18th or 19th century industrial practices. It retains significant archaeological potential, with a strong probability of the presence of associated archaeological features and deposits. The structure itself may be expected to contain archaeological information concerning chronology and building techniques. An industrial building may be part of a larger cluster of monuments and their importance can further enhanced by their group value.

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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