A blast furnace was known to be in use at Coalbrookdale in Shropshire, England as early as 1638. The location was ideal – local ironstone, nearby coal for fuel and a brook, which could be harnessed to provide power. It was the Abraham Darby family who first developed the works and in the mid-1800’s it employed over 3000 men (and boys).
The name Coalbrookdale Company has remained unchanged to the present, though the company became a Limited Company in 1881, entered the Light Castings Ltd group in 1922 , became a member of Allied Ironfounders in the 1940’s and, subsequently, part of Glynwed International Plc. Part of the works is now leased to a museum whilst the rest is still a working factory producing castings for Aga-Rayburn, manufacturers of the world-famous cookers.
Most people associate the Industrial Revolution with Ironbridge but it is really Coalbrookdale, and its famous works, that was its true birthplace.