Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

Registered UK Charity (No. 115342)

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 163,128 pages of information and 245,598 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Park Gate Iron and Steel Co

From Graces Guide


1934. Park Gate Works at Rotherham.


























November 1943.
November 1944
October 1945.
April 1947.
November 1954.
1956. Rolling mill at the works of the company manufactured by the Brightside Foundry and Engineering Co.
November 1957.
November 1958.
May 1961.
1964. Photoelectric cells for billet measurement.
1964. Part of central engineering department.
1964. 800 ton hot metal mixer.
1964. Kaldo converter with fume hood swung aside.
1964. Tapping the arc furnace.
1964. Teeming to rotary casting system.
1964. Stripping ingots.
1964. Road transport of ingots.
1964. Continuous billet and slab mill.
1964. Billet shear.
1964. Finishing end of hot strip mill.
1964. Hot strip delivery tables and coilers.
1964. Hotstrip mill at Roundwood site.

Park Gate Iron and Steel Co of Parkgate, Rotherham and Steel St., Holmes, Masbro', Rotherham

See also Additional Notes

The Park Gate Iron and Steel Company was situated in Parkgate on a triangular site bounded on two sides by the main Rotherham to Barnsley road (A633) and the North Midland Railway's main line between Rotherham and Cudworth Stations.

1823 The establishment of a Parkgate Ironworks by Samuel Sanderson and xx Watson. It was located at the junction of Rotherham Road and Taylors Lane with part of the works facing on to the Greasbrough Canal.

1832 Bankruptcy petition issued against Charles Sanderson, of Park-Gate-Works, near Rotherham, in the County of York, Iron and Tin-Plate Manufacturer, .... John Watson the younger, his then late Partner in trade (against which said John Watson a Fiat in Bankruptcy was issued, bearing date the 7th day of February 1834)[1]

1832 Advert for sale or lease of extensive iron works at The Holmes, near Rotherham, consisting of 3 blast furnaces, foundries and boring mills[2]

1832 The business was sold, becoming part of the Birmingham Tin Plate Co.

Over the years, along with the business changing hands several times, it expanded over Rotherham Road to the Park Gate site, which continued operation until the 1970s.

1833 William Oxley of Parkgate is listed under 'Steel Converters and Shear Steel Manufacturer' [3]

1839 The first blast furnace was installed

1841 William Scholefield of Parkgate Iron Works listed under Iron Manufacturers and Iron Masters. William Oxley and Co of Parkgate Steel Works listed as Steel Converters and Refiners. [4]

1845 Following another change in ownership, a mill for the rolling of railway lines was installed

1849 William Scholefield and Co of Parkgate and William Oxley and Co of Parkgate were listed under Steel Converters. [5]

1853 Referred to as the 'Parkgate Iron Works of Messrs. Samuel Beale and Co of Birmingham'. [6]

1854 Samuel Beale and Co produced cast iron plating for Isambard Kingdom Brunel's famous steamship the SS Great Eastern.

1864 Samuel Beale retired; his son William Lansdowne Beale incorporated the company under the name Parkgate Iron Company Limited

1864 The company was established. [7]

1871 Two further blast furnaces were brought into operation and further new plant added over the following ten years, this including a slab mill, a large plate mill, a billet mill and three open hearth furnaces.

1872 The Parkgate Iron Co had 1 blast furnace at Parkgate and also had 3 blast furnaces at Holmes, Masbro'.

1880 Had ninety puddling furnaces which were soon abandoned as they moved from making wrought iron to steel

1880s Installed engine from Davey, Paxman and Co for cogging mill

1888 A further change of name took place when the company was renamed Parkgate Iron and Steel Co, which reflected the shift in its manufacturing base.

1890s Installed an engine from Markham and Co

1901 Parkgate Iron and Steel Co were boiler and ship plate manufacturers in 1901. [8]

By 1908 the works had gone over entirely to steel production and until 1946 its main products were steel ingots intended for further processing, in particular steel plate and armour plate for the shipbuilding industry and solid bar products ranging from 3/8" to 9 1/2". The company also produced sectional shapes and in particular arches and props for the mining industry.

1909 Installed an engine from Belliss and Morcom

1911 Installed engine from Lamberton and Co for the billet mill

1912 Installed engine from Galloways for the finishing mill

1913 Sir Charles John Stoddart the head of Parkgate Iron and Steel died. [9]

1914 Steel manufacturers. Specialities: high-class steel manufactured by Siemens process only; steel boiler plates, tank plates, bridge plates, sheets, chequered plates, flats, angles, tees and sectional bars of all descriptions; slabs and billets, dead soft and guaranteed carbons; high tensile steel in plates, sheets and bars; welding and case-hardening steel, pig iron, foundry and forge. Employees 1,500 to 2,000. [10]

1917 Installed engine from Scott and Hodgson for the cogging mill

Following the end of World War I, land was purchased at nearby Roundwood

By 1920, the tenth open hearth furnace was added and new rolling capacity on 12" and 14" rolling mills brought on stream.

1921 Installed engine from Markham and Co for the roughing mill.

1926 June. Mr. Charles Markham, presiding at the annual meeting of the company, at Sheffield, gave some interesting figures relating to the six South Yorkshire collieries for the month of April, which was a broken period. They raised £450,000 tons of coal and paid £229,000 in wages, or 10s. 2d. wages for each ton. That was divided among 18,000 workmen. Mr Markham further mentioned that during the past few years they had lost at Parkgate in strikes nearly £200,000. "That money had gone to nobody, it had brought up no revenue, and it had brought nothing but misery and hardship." [11]

1926 - November. A. K. Wilson joined the Board of Parkgate Iron and Steel Co, Ltd. in the place of the late Charles Markham. The other directors of the company were Douglas Vickers, Sir William B. Bird, A. Willis Dixon and P. W. Fawsett.[12]

1927 See Aberconway for information on the company and its history.

1934 See Park Gate Iron and Steel Co: 1934 Review

1948 The company was nationalised along with most of the other U.K.'s bulk steel producers.

1951 Nationalised under the Iron and Steel Act; became part of the Iron and Steel Corporation of Great Britain[13]

By 1953 plate steel was no longer being made and a new continuous bar mill was begun.

1956 the company was bought from the Holding and Realization Agency by Tube Investments [14]; development would be coordinated with that at Round Oak Steel Works; major development work was planned for a site at Aldwarke, to come on stream in the 1960s. This included 'Kaldo' process 'Basic Oxygen Steelmaking' Plant which was fed from the blast furnaces, ladles being transferred by rail between the sites. This development also included hot rolling facilities.

1958 The works provided a location for the film 'Tread Softly Stranger'.

1960 the main site covered some 370 acres and the Roundwood site, adjacent to the ex-Midland Railway's main line to the north of the main works, and covering a further 220 acres, was coming on stream. The plant at that time included two mechanically charged blast furnaces feeding 10 open hearth steel making furnaces which, in turn, fed two primary mills for rolling blooms and billets and 5 finishing mills rolling a wide range of solid bars. The Roundwood site was occupied by an 11 inch Continuous Bar Mill. Capacity at the time was around 425,000 tons of carbon, low alloy and free-cutting steel and ingots.

1960 Charles Henry Trelease Williams appointed chairman of the Parkgate Iron and Steel Co. [15]

1967 Tube Investments's steel-making subsidiaries (Park Gate Iron and Steel Co, Round Oak Steel Works) nationalised into British Steel Corporation[16] as one of the 14 largest steel groups, representing about 90 per cent of the UK's steel making capacity[17].

1968 British Steel announce the closure of departments with 375 out of 5,270 losing their jobs

By the 1970s demand had changed and part of the old plant was demolished

1976 rolling capacity was increased with the coming on stream of the Thrybergh Bar Mill.

The remainder of the Parkgate site closed in 1982.

1867 Article
'IRON GIRDER MANUFACTURE AT PARK GATE WORKS, ROTHERHAM. At a time of general depression in the iron trade, and particularly in works producing as their staple rails and plates of a high class and character, where the effects of low prices and unrestricted competition for the few orders coming out are necessarily felt more, than by the run of works manufacturing cheaper brands for the general market, it is gratifying to find the Park Gate Iron Company Limited, a firm of high standing in our district, succeed by the developementof new branches of iron manufacture in keeping their works comparatively full, and securing to their establishment and the neighbourhood the advantages of ample work which otherwise must have gone elsewhere.
These remarks are induced, by a visit to the Park Gate Co's Works, Rotherham, kindly conceded by John Hedley, Esq., the managing Director. The company have recently expended a considerable sum of money in laying out part of their extensive works, for bridge, girder, and boiler works, on a wider and more improved scale than they had hitherto attempted, and are now receiving the benefit, by having in course of execution, orders for several thousand tons of bridge and girder work of very great excellence.
The shops and tools for this branch, are built and arranged, with the greatest attention to the practical requirements of the work, and with a view to the most economical, and at the same time mechanical way of turning it out. By means of steam-rivetting machines, cranes, and tramways, which latter permeate the entire establishment, the iron being delivered straight from the mill in railway trucks, and working its way through the shops until finally leaving by the railway as finished work.
Multiple-drilling having now so much supplanted the old method of punching, no expense has been spared in getting the best machines designed and manufactured, and the company have now the largest number, and perfect of their character, at work day and night, and these together with a superabundance of planing power, derived not only from new machines, but from those laid out for armour plates, the trade which, like rails, is now very slack enables them weekly to turn out an amount of tonnage finished in manner, and at a cost, which a few years back would have been impossible.
The works which they are now chiefly occupied are, one of the large bridges for which our Indian Empire creates such an increasing demand, and the Metropolitan Bridges for bringing the Midland Railway into London. The first of these (the Indian) is for doubling the line of the East Indian Railway over the River Soane, a tributary of the Ganges, a short distance from the Civil Station of Arrah and about midway between Palma and Buxir. It is from the designs of A. M. Rendel, Esq., C.E., the Consulting Engineer of the East Indian Railway Company.
The bridge consists of 28 spans, of 153 feet each, and a total length of nearly a mile, and over three thousand tons in weight. [presumably this was Soane Bridge ]. Besides the railway which it carries on the top there is a path for road traffic underneath. The construction is on lattice system, the lattices of channel section, and the corresponding parts of each span are alike in detail and gauge, and consequently interchangeable — this plan ensures the most perfect accuracy of the work in this country, and after facility for erection in India, which of course a matter of essential importance. All the plates are drilled by the multiple machines, and planed at the edges, and every part put together at the works for examination.
The span we saw had been put together and completely rivetted up as it would be in India, and it was then tested with a load of 330 tons of rails — this was allowed to remain on for some days, the deflections being carefully taken and diagrams of the curve assumed, with the load distributed in various ways, put on record.
Besides this test, the iron of which the structure is composed is carefully tested from time to time by the engineers, with a view of ascertaining its capability for resisting extension under strain — this quality, as well the ultimate breaking weight, being of moment in this class of work. The bridges for the Midland Railway, which have been manufactured by the Park-gate Company from the designs of W. H. Barlow, Esq., C.E.. are constructed in a similar and equally careful manner, but are of heavier and more massive character those we have seen erected look remarkably well, though at present without any ornament, the carrying out which effectively to plain girders seems still to be an unaccomplished feat by our engineers. One new feature Mr. Barlow has introduced in the platforms of the New-st. Paucras Station of the Midland Railway, and which promises to be a great benefit to the public, is a system of iron troughs made of plate, and angle irons alternately open upwards and downwards, forming when rivetted a continuous flooring, and, what has been so long desired for the metropolitan lines, a perfectly water-tight platform. Any one in the habit of passing under the railway bridges crossing roads in the metropolis and elsewhere must have been annoyed either by the drips in wet weather, or by unsightly corrugated iron screw breaking the line of the girder, and which evils are quite avoided by this new system.
Besides these and other contracts, the work for which amounts from five or six thousand tons, the Park Gate company have large orders for hoops and rods for the Foreign market, and which are being turned out in an excellent manner, by a new mill just erected. A description of this and of the rolling mills improvements in hand, and contemplated for the manufacture of iron and lessening the smoke nuisance, we hope to lay before our readers at an early day. Meanwhile we congratulate the Company on the success that has attended their efforts hitherto; and heartily wish them a continuance of it. Looking to the fact of their possessing the same fine quality of coal and iron, which has rendered Low Moor so famous; and to the advantage that every plate, angle, and tee-bar is puddled and rolled on the works, thus ensuring quality, and time not being lost, whilst they have all the most recent applicances for manufacturing all descriptions of work, cheaply and well, there is little doubt they will find a large support from engineers and the public, and obtain for this department as good a reputation as their brand of P. G. Iron has itself always enjoyed.
Joseph Phillips, Esq., of Westminster Chambers, is engineer to the Park Gate Company.[18]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. London Gazette 21 June 1836
  2. The Times May 26, 1832
  3. 1833 History & Directory of Sheffield, Rotherham
  4. 1841 Pigot & Co.'s Directory of Yorks, Leics ...
  5. 1849 General Directory of Sheffield
  6. The Times, Monday, May 16, 1853
  7. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  8. White's Directory of Sheffield and Rotherham, 1901 p849
  9. The Times, Monday, May 26, 1913
  10. 1914 Whitakers Red Book
  11. The Engineer 1926/06/11
  12. The Engineer 1926/11/19
  13. Hansard 19 February 1951
  14. The Times, 17 February 1956
  15. The Times, Saturday, Sep 03, 1960
  16. The Times, 29 July 1967
  17. The Times, 1 May 1965
  18. Derbyshire Times - Saturday 12 October 1867