Staffordshire Working Lives
Extract from a lease of various mines and iron furnaces, 1857

Extract from a lease of various mines and iron furnaces, 1857.

(© Staffordshire Record Office: D615/EL/2/139)

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Schedule of furnaces, casting-house, engine and wharf

The whole lease this is taken from is very long, relating to various lands at Willenhall, Bloxwich near Walsall, and Bentley between Willenhall and Walsall. The lease includes mines of coal, ironstone and clay, and these iron furnaces. The furnaces were to be leased for a term of twenty-one years at an annual rent of £500. It was common for furnaces to be on the same site as the ironstone mines, or very close, and coke from the nearby coalmines would supply the fuel for the furnaces.

The extent and sheer scale of the buildings for the furnaces is clear to see, and also there are descriptions of how the engines and other machinery operated. Many of the buildings had roofs reinforced with iron, and iron grates across the window-holes. The heat inside the furnaces must have been immense. The diameters of the pipes is also given, and the thickness of some walls. The full text of the schedule has been transcribed, with an image of part.

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