Brymbo’s Industrial Heritage

24 years today, on 27th September 1990, the last furnace at Brymbo Steelworks had been tapped and by chance there was a Brymbo Heritage Project Open Day today that provided a good opportunity to have a look around the former site and learn more about the past of this area.

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The original No. 1 furnace built by John Wilkinson

When someone mentions Brymbo most people think of steel but you can also find 300 million year old fossilised, still upright, trees here and coal had been worked on these hills since the 1400s. But when the industrialist John Wilkinson, who owned nearby Bersham Ironworks, purchased Brymbo Hall in 1792 and founded Brymbo Ironworks, that’s when it really took off. By 1796 Wilkinson had erected the first blast furnace and ever since iron and later on steel had been produced on this site until September 1990.

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The Machine Shop dates from 1920 and is one of later steelwork buildings

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Inside the Machine Shop

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A lot of things to discover

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Heavy machinery

Today some of the buildings still stand, including the original Wilkinson No. 1 furnace, and Brymbo Heritage Group offered free Guided Walks and 4×4 Tours around the works. Some buildings have suffered severly during the heavy snow fall last March and their roofs collapsed but repair works have already started.

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Overview – you can clearly see the collapsed roofs

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The old workshop I believe. The roof has been taken off already.

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Imposing

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Agent’s House – Wilkinson turned these cottages into offices in the late 1700s.

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Not originally from here, I think, but they had some like this one as well

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You really get an idea of the size of things

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These were basically just tipped over to unload

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I really like it when you can get close to things and even touch them

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More buildings reclaimed by nature

For safety reasons we weren’t allowed in all the buildings but you could still look inside. Also some of the remaining details on the buildings are intriguing.
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My special thanks go to Colin and Keith who walked us around the site and offered some interesting facts and anecdotes. I should have taken notes really but what I remember was a comment on the D Furnace about its size and power “She was an animal. She was a beast.” I think that says it all.

For more information and how to support Brymbo Heritage Group visit
www.brymboheritage.co.uk

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