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British Industrial History

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Lilleshall Co

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1851 Murdoch, Aitken and Co Beam Blowing Engine
1851. Beam Blowing Engine
January 1872.
London 1891
1909. Gas blowing engines at the Barrow Haematite Iron and Steel Co Works.
1909. 1,100 B.H.P Gas Blowing Engine for Barrow Haematite Iron and Steel Co.
February 1911.
1912. Gas engine for Kamata, in Lilleshall’s works
1912. Lilleshall machine shop, Kamata flywheel/armature on vertical boring mill
1912, Kamata engine flywheel/armature
1931 Pumping engine at the Museum of Power
Flywheel on pumping engine at the Museum of Power
Exhibit at the Museum of Power.
Exhibit at the Museum of Power.
Exhibit at the Museum of Power.
Exhibit at the Museum of Power.
Engine No 2. 350 hp. Exhibit at the Museum of Power.

of St. Georges, Oakengates, Shropshire.

Lilleshall Company were mechanical engineers, coal and iron merchants, iron founders and manufacturers, and steel manufacturers. The company was noted for its winding, pumping and blast engines.

Also see: Lilleshall Iron and Steel Co; the affairs of the various Lilleshall companies are not clearly separable at this time.

1764 Earl Gower formed a company to construct the Donnington Wood Canal on his Lilleshall estate, to exploit its coal, lime and ironstone resources[1].

1785 Large-scale iron-making began with a furnace at Donnington Wood constructed by William Reynolds and Joseph Rathbone on land leased from Earl Gower, on the north side of the Donnington Wood Canal. Gower contributed £2,000 to the enterprise[2].

1802 Company founded, replacing a partnership that had built several blast furnaces, which took over the works. This was the Lilleshall Company, in which the Marquess of Stafford' second son was partner with four local capitalists, John Bishton the elder, James Birch, John Onions, and William Phillips[3]

1807 The Snedshill ironworks, of which at least one furnace was managed by John Horton, was brought into the Lilleshall Co under a new partnership agreement[4].

c1830 Beam engine for the Lilleshall Co of Priors Lee pits; listed as made by St George's Ironworks [5].

1851 the Lilleshall Co built four blast furnaces at Euston Way, to double the company's pig iron production. Fuel came from 42 round coke ovens, with the hot blast provided by two beam engines.

1861 Associated with the Donnington Wood furnaces was the nearby Yard, comprising a foundry and small engineering shop. It closed in 1861 when the New Yard engineering works opened in Wrockwardine Wood township.

1862 Built an exhibition railway locomotive and then built a number for their own use and for local collieries. [6]

1880 Lilleshall Co became a public company. The company was registered on 31 December. But Aberconway says "The Company was a private one in which Lord Granville's family had large interests"[7].

1888 The last of the Old Lodge furnaces was blown out. Thereafter the company concentrated all its iron and steel making at Priors Lee.

1888 The Snedshill Iron Co was absorbed. [8]

1890 Lilleshall Iron Co Ltd was at Shifnal, and at St Georges, Wellington (mechanical engineers). Lilleshall Co Ltd was at St Georges, Wellington; Snedshill, Wellington, and Priors Lee, Shifnal(iron master and manufacturers) and Lilleshall, Newport (iron merchants); and at Snedshill, Wellington (iron founders, steel manufacturers)[9].

1890 Negotiations over wages with the Shropshire blast-furnace men was conducted by Mr Perrott of Lilleshall Co[10].

1895? Supplied vertical twin-cylinder winding engine for Rockingham Colliery.

1895 Operated as coal merchants at several places in the county and at Dudley.

1898 Horizontal Engine with gear drive for Metropolitan Water Board (Southfleet Station).

1900 Two engines for Borough of West Ham (Abbey Road).

1902 Installed a large compound blowing engine of their own manufacture at their Priors Lee Works. HP steam cylinder 42" dia., HP 70", two air cylinders 95" diameter, all 5 ft stroke. [11]

1908 Advert: Electrical Blowing Gas Engines, Large Powers[12]

1912 2130 HP Nuremberg-type gas engines for the railway power station, Kamata, near Yokohama.[13]

1922 Lilleshall Co owned collieries at Priors Lee Hall, Shifnal and in Shropshire.

1923 Two Horizontal Rotative Engines for The West Cheshire Water Board (Prenton Station).

1929 - 1931 Three pumping engines supplied to Langford Pumping Station, Essex (see photo).

1951 Lilleshall Iron and Steel Co nationalised under the Iron and Steel Act; became part of the Iron and Steel Corporation of Great Britain[14]

1954 Lilleshall Iron and Steel Co denationalised; sold to Lilleshall Co[15].

1961 Structural and mechanical engineers, manufacturers of rolled steel products, glazed bricks, sanitaryware, Spectra-Glaze and concrete products. 750 employees. [16]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Aristocrats and the Industrial Revolution: The Leveson-Gowers by Judith Watkin
  2. Lilleshall: Economic history, in A History of the County of Shropshire: Volume 11: Telford (1985), pp. 155-164. URL: Date accessed: 28 October 2010
  3. 'Lilleshall: Economic history', A History of the County of Shropshire: Volume 11: Telford (1985), pp. 155-164 [1]
  4. 'Wombridge: Economic history', A History of the County of Shropshire: Volume 11: Telford (1985), pp. 291-296. [2]
  5. The Steam Engine in Industry by George Watkins in two volumes. Moorland Publishing. 1978. ISBN 0-903485-65-6
  6. British Steam Locomotive Builders by James W. Lowe. Published in 1975. ISBN 0-905100-816
  7. The Basic Industries of Great Britain by Aberconway: Chapter XX
  8. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  9. Kelly's Directory of Herefordshire & Shropshire, 1895
  10. Birmingham Daily Post, 6 February 1890
  11. 'The Engineer' 13th February 1902
  12. The Times, 9 December 1908; p.19
  13. Engineering 20th September 1912
  14. Hansard 19 February 1951
  15. The Times, 15 December 1954
  16. 1961 Dun and Bradstreet KBE