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British Industrial History

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Caponfield Furnaces

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of Sedgley/Bilston

Also known as Capponfield Iron Works

Four spellings were freely used - Caponfield, Capon Field, Cappon Field and Capponfield

1805 onwards Smith Read and Co but there had been furnaces on the site before then

1814 "Dissolution of the partnership between John Read (who became a bankrupt on or about the second day of August 1811), and Joseph Smith, David Smith, Thomas Smith, Richard Smith (is this Richard Smith?), Henry Hudson, Samuel Whitfield Daukes, and Martha Smith, as devises of the late Thomas Smith, deceased, and otherwise and also as guardians of Benjamin Smith, another of the said devisees, but at present an infant under the age of 21 year, in the Caponfield Furnaces, and Coal and Iron-stone Mines thereto belonging, was and stands dissolved on the 4th day of December 1810, so far as related to the said Richard Smith, who had on that day sold and disposed of his share and interest in the said concern to the undersigned Thomas Smith: Dated this 24th day of February 1814.
John Read Joseph Smith. David Smith. Thos. Smith. Richard Smith. Henry Hudson. S. W. Daukes. Martha Smith. "

In March 1814 David Smith, Henry Hudson, Samuel Whitfield Daukes, and Martha Smith sold their shares and interests; the share and interest of Benjamin Smith was also disposed of. [1]

1821 Thomas Smith, ironmaster of Caponfield, was declared bankrupt[2]

1825 W Aston

1839-1881 The works passed through many hands but John Bagnall and Sons appear to have had the most impact during this period.

1867 3 blast furnaces built. 2 in blast/ 1st class forge. Capponfield (as part of Chillington) collectively 95 puddling furnaces, 6 mills/forges.[3]

1882 Thomas and Isaac Bradley made pig-iron and other castings at Caponfield Furnaces.

Late 1800s William Molineaux was the proprietor of the Caponfield Ironworks at Bilston.

c.1920 blown out by Bradleys around 1920. For many years they stood idle, though one was again blown-in for about a month in the late 1920s, after which they were gradually dismantled.

1934-7 Bradley and Foster

1951 A new works, Bradley and Foster, to produce metallic abrasives was established in 1951. It had closed down by 1971.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The London Gazette 7 May 1814
  2. The Edinburgh Gazette 23 February 1821
  3. Griffiths. 1867. Guide to Iron Trade of Great Britain
  • [1] Black Country History