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British Industrial History

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Whiteley Wood Forge

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Whiteley Wood Forge, also known as Old Forge, near Sheffield

Except where stated, all the following information comes from one source [1]

Thomas Boulsover became wealthy following his discovery of development of Sheffield Plate (silver fused to copper, fully workable by silversmiths, due to the tenacious bond between the two metals)[2].

Boulsover bought Whiteley Wood Hall and 100 acres of land, where he built a mill. This was intended to be for paper production, but this failed because of excessive ochre in the water.

He then decided build a forge and rolling mill for the production of saws. In 1765 he legally conveyed these to his son-in-law Joseph Mitchell.

1783 The forge and mill and 'Leather Wheel' downstream on the River Porter were insured by Joseph Mitchell, Anthony Thompson, John Wreaks, John Mower and John White.

1794 Thompson and Co were recorded as running the works

1797 The business was recorded as still owned by the five partners of 1783. The 1797 record also shows that Boulsover's other son-in-law, William Hutton (deceased by then) had inherited half the estate, including the works.

1815 Mitchell and Hutton, Boulsover’s grandsons, nominally in charge

1832 A saw business with two hammers advertised for sale.

1835? Miss Silcock, Boulsover's great grandaughter, took over running of the Whiteley Wood estate. A lease to Henry Unwin and Co mentions two water wheels together with a steam engine of about 12 HP.

On Miss Silcock’s death, ownership of the forge remained with her executors before passing to her cousin, John Hutton. During that period it was renamed Bottoms Forge and Tilt.

1873 Sold by John Hutton to John Denton

1887 Sold back by John Denton to John Hutton. This is possibly when production ended, based on the reduced rateable value.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 'Water Power on the Sheffield Rivers' edited by Christine Ball, David Crossley and Neville Flavell, 2nd Edition: South Yorkshire Industrial History Society, 2006
  2. [1]Tilt Hammer website