The Forest of Dean.

Bygone Days

Bygone Days

Iron Industry - General

A coke fired furnace at Cinderford was built by Thomas Teague some time round about 1795. It was situated at a place known as the Daniel ford on the brook just half a mile north of Cinderford Bridge. It used coke brought down from Broadmoor by a small short canal. The furnace fell idle around 1890, unable to compete with the higher production of South Wales and Staffordshire because of poor quality local coking coal.

In 1829, the furnace was restarted by Moses Teague, who with William Montague of Gloucester formed the Cinderford Iron Company and smelting operations were revived. The company was later taken over by William Allaway and the south Wales ironmaster William Crawshay in 1835. In 1841 there were three furnaces producing over 12,000 tons of iron a year and employing over 100 men and boys.

Crawshay’s son Henry ran the works from 1847. In the mid 1850’s the works always had three of its four furnaces in production but only one was in blast in 1890 and the ironworks finally closed to be demolished by 1900.

Until a few decades ago the "Valley Road" area of the Cinderford valley was littered with giant cinders, the skimmings and left overs from the iron foundry firings. It was common, as this photograph shows, for sheep to graze amongst these garden shed to house-sized lumps of leftovers from the ironworks.

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