Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 134,712 pages of information and 213,790 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Sandford and Owen

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of Phoenix Forge, Rotherham

An area of land, almost a crescent shape through Masbrough and Ickles, on the edge of the town of Rotherham, became well known in the late 18th / early 19th centuries through its involvement in iron and steel making and there could be found the works of many of the towns iron masters. Situated between the main turnpike road linking Rotherham and Sheffield and the River Don, the Phoenix Works was a leading manufacturer of large iron forgings, made using water powered tilt hammers. It is known that the works made forgings for marine engines, shafts for use in paddle steamers and crank axles etc.

1838 The partnership of Sandford, Owen and Yates was dissolved; Sandford and Owen took the Phoenix Works while Yates took the Rotherham Foundry which later became Yates, Haywood and Co and The Rotherham Foundry Co.

The business was then almost solely confined to the manufacture of rails, and in the early 1840s, the days of the great railway boom, manufacturers of railway material were doing well.

By 1851 was Sandford, Owen and Watson

A serious slump followed, and one of the firms which had to suspend operations was the Phoenix Works.

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