Darby Houses, Coalbrookdale

Eagle Slayer (John Bell), bronze sculpture cast by the Coalbrookdale Company around 1848.  The piece was purchased to commemorate the founder Chairman of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, E Bruce Ball (1903-1985) and is on display in the Darby Houses.

Eagle Slayer (John Bell), bronze sculpture cast by the Coalbrookdale Company around 1848. The piece was purchased to commemorate the founder Chairman of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, E Bruce Ball (1903-1985) and is on display in Rosehill House.

Date

30 March 2015
Location

Coalbrookdale

SJ 66680 04967; 52.64140°N, 2.49385°W

Information

The Darby Houses in Coalbrookdale are one of the ten attractions run by the Iron Gorge Museum Trust and were the homes of various members of the family of Quaker ironmasters. Rosehill House was built in the 1720s and has been in the care of the Trust since 1978. Dale House served as the Manager’s House for the Coalbrookdale Company and its construction was started by Abraham Darby I, who in 1709 revolutionised iron smelting by using coke rather than charcoal. Dale House suffered from a 20th-century flat conversion, but is now in the process of being restored to its condition of the 1780s, the period when it was the residence of Abraham Darby III, who built the world’s first cast-iron arch bridge.

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Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron – Great Exhibition

‘Africa’ lamp standard, from a series of four cast-iron standards representing continents, produced by the Coalbrookdale Company in the 1860s and thought to have been designed by John Bell

Africa lamp standard, from a series of four cast-iron standards representing continents, produced by the Coalbrookdale Company in the 1860s and thought to have been designed by John Bell

Date

30 March 2015
Location

Coalbrookdale

SJ 66770 04671; 52.63874°N, 2.49248°W

Information

Further Reading

Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron

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Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron

‘Africa’ lamp standard, from a series of four cast-iron standards representing continents, produced by the Coalbrookdale Company in the 1860s and thought to have been designed by John Bell

Date

30 August 2012
Location

Ironbridge Gorge Museums, Coalbrookdale, Telford

SJ 66734 04794; 52.63985°N, 2.49304°W

Information

The Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron is housed in the former Great Warehouse, built in 1838, of the Coalbrookdale Company and is one of the ten museums run by the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust.

Close to the Great Warehouse are the remains of the blast furnace where Abraham Darby I perfected the technique of smelting iron with coke rather than with charcoal — this allowed iron to be produced much more cheaply than before and was one of the innovations that led to the Industrial Revolution.

Darby obtained a patent in 1707 for a method of mass producing cast-iron cooking pots. Under the ownership of the Darby family, the Coalbrookdale Company later diversified into other iron products and one of their most famous achievements was the construction, completed in 1781, of the Iron Bridge over the River Severn — the world’s first cast-iron arch bridge. During Victorian times, the company became famous for its decorative cast ironwork.

Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron

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