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ARCHIVE: Brymbo Steelworks - August 09
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: North Wales
Arrow ARCHIVE: Brymbo Steelworks - August 09 - 09-08-2009, 04:05

I originally went to just recce the place, but found my self drawn in when I unexpectedly saw a huge hopper in the undergrowth looking like some sort of monster egg laying beast. Anyways, 5 hours later and a bit of cat and mouse with security (I do like his landrover but not his taste in music and I did prove my invisibility hat does work).

History (from Wikipedia and other sources): Brymbo Steel Works was a former large steelworks in the village of Brymbo near Wrexham, Wales. For much of its life it was a rather ordinary ironworks and later steelworks, but is significant on account of its founder, and as having one of a modest number of surviving blast furnace stacks.

The works was founded by John 'Iron Mad' Wilkinson who built a blast furnace on the site in 1793.A second furnace was built by 1805 and a third about 1869, but from 1892 no more than two were used, and from 1912 only one.

After Wilkinson's death the works passed through various hands. By 1841, it passed to the Brymbo Iron Co., which was managed from 1846 by William Edward Darby and Charles Edward Darby, grandsons of Abraham Darby III of Coalbrookdale. After their deaths in 1882 and 1884, the business was incorporated as Brymbo Steel Co. Ltd.[2] The business changed company name in 1934 and 1948, on the latter occasion becoming Brymbo Steel Works Ltd in 1948, having become part of GKN, being a branch of GKN Steel Co. Ltd in the early 1960s. It was nationalised with the rest of the steel industry in 1967, becoming a division of British Steel Corporation.

The works were served by the Wrexham and Minera Branch of the Great Western Railway, later of British Railways.

At it's peak in the early 1970s, Brymbo Steelworks employed almost 2500 people. The steelworks lasted until 1990, when it was closed. 1,100 jobs were lost. Many sections of plant including "D" furnace and the Billet and Bar Mill were sold to steel companies in China.

The last time the buildings still left on site were used was in 1985 when the foundry's last pour was carried out, and you can still see the cupolas in the same state they left them. This last pour is historically documented here

Further reading..

Today: The site has now been developed to support large amounts of housing. It is currently planned to keep the long standing Machine Shop and No 1 blast furnace (old no. 1) and it's now a heritage site. Other structures left include a foundry, the Blast Furnace foreman's house, the Pattern Shop, the BLast Furnace Winding Gear Building and a pit shaft. The site is littered with all sorts of gear from crane grabs, crucibles, ingot moulds to huge ladles and railway wagons.

Hope I've not sent you to sleep.


Hopper from the top

A ladle that would hold molten steel. It's face made me smile

Axle Box

Internal Use Ladle wagon

Crop Railway Wagon, used for carrying red hot Billet ends.

Heavy Metal Train

Ladle Wagon

The big truck wouldn't start

No engine

Mould Pattern

Mould Handle

Mould Pattern

No idea

What's left

The winding house

It got me going

Blast furnace No1 (Old No1)



Last edited by 54Strat; 09-08-2009 at 04:21.