Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Redbrook Ironworks

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Late 1600s Paul Foley owned 7 blast furnaces including the Redbrook furnace and two forges at Lydbrook, Gloucestershire.

1692 The copper works at Lower Redbrook were established by the Governor and Company of Copper Miners in England, who were incorporated in 1691 and bought land at the hamlet in 1692[1].

1790 The Lower Redbrook works continued under the Copper Miners Co. until 1790 when they were sold to the ironmasters David and William Tanner. The Tanners converted them to ironworks and later made tinplate there (probably from 1792).

1796 David Tanner conveyed the works at Redbrook to Edmund Estcourt to pay his debts. The sale took place in 1824

Tanner also owned the Lower Redbrook Tinworks which had been partly supplied with iron from Upper Redbrook but the Tinworks was under the separate management of the firm of Cowley and Hathaway, partners with David and William Tanner.

1798 David Tanner became bankrupt. The lease was re-assigned to William Cowley[2]

1800 James Davies and others leased the ironworks, rolling mill, etc at Redbrook for 21 years

1802 Advertisement: 'To be sold by auction, by order of the Assignees of DAVID TANNER, some time in the month of July next; all those valuable IRON and TIN WORKS, called LOWER REDBROOK WORKS, situate at Redbrook, on the banks of the River Wye, within two miles of Monmouth, and now in the occupation of Mr. William Cowley, at the yearly rent of 700l. Further Particulars, .....'[3]

1805 James Davies and Co. were planning to establish tinplate works at Redbrook[4]

1806 The elder William Thompson purchased three-tenth shares of the Redbrook and Lydbrook Ironworks.

By 1808 The tinplate works were in use.

1819 Davies and Co surrendered the leases on the iron works

Accident in 1791

'Last week a dreadful accident happened at Redbrook iron works, Gloucestershire, lately purchased by David Tanner, Esq.—One of the workmen struck his foot against a block with so much violence, as threw him into some part of the machinery, where he was torn in a manner too shocking to relate; and in this mangled state he lived near half an hour.'[5]

'At Redbrook forge, lately purchased by David Tanner, esq; of Monmouth, a workman, a few days ago, accidentally striking his foot against a stone, tumbled and fell among the wheels of the engine, where he was mangled, and crushed to that degree, that he survived the accident only half an hour. The poor man has left a wife, and four children ; but his worthy master, it is said, continues to them the wages of the deceased.'[6]


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. From: 'Newland', A History of the County of Gloucester: Volume 5: Bledisloe Hundred, St. Briavels Hundred, The Forest of Dean (1996), pp. 195-231 [1]
  2. Upper Redbrook Iron Works, 1798-9, by Pat Morris, Gloucestershire Society for Industrial Archaeology Journal for 2009, pages 36-40.
  3. Gloucester Journal, 21 June 1802
  4. [2]
  5. Stamford Mercury, 4 March 1791
  6. Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette, 3 March 1791
  • Tinplate works, by Pat Morris [3]