April 22, 2018


Coalbrookdale made

Here is an interesting one for you! The Coalbrookdale Foundry that made all the cast parts in your cooker was closed late last year. It was in fact the site of the first coke fired iron smelting foundry in Europe opened in 1709. Thanks to one of the, just 35 from a peak of 600, staff who was there at the end I have acquired two fascinating cast iron artefacts that were made with the final melt from the furnace. The end of 308 years of history! More on the foundry and it's history here.

One is a set of bench ends. We'll be enamelling these in light pewter and have a carpenter lined up to create a fabulous bench in British oak. There is a plaque to be set into it and each 'end' has the inscription '1709-2017'. The other item is a cast iron trivet made, literally, with the last iron out of the furnace. This we are enamelling in light pewter too. The pics show the 'raw' cast iron of bench ends and plaque before shotblasting and enamelling - I'm excited to show you the final results! I'd so love to start a museum one day - these will be a fabulous attraction!

It's very sad that newly made cookers won't share the centuries of history at the foundry anymore but we'll do our part to make sure 'Coalbrookdale made' cookers are cooking dinners and warming homes for many decades to come by re-enamelling and refurbishing them!

Coalbrookdale cast iron plaque

Coalbrookdale made bench ends

Coalbrookdale made cast iron bench ends


Matthew Bates
Matthew Bates

Author

Matthew is from a farming family near Bath and a graduate of King's College London who decided not to follow the 'standard' path into banking or the law. He has been working with these fabulous cookers in some form or another since 2003. Matthew runs Blake and Bull from beautiful Bradford on Avon, near Bath. Alf the golden retriever makes sure the working day finishes at 6pm sharp - dog walk time!