SJ6903 : Blists Hill Victorian Town - hammering away

taken 7 years ago, near to Coalport, Telford And Wrekin, Great Britain

Blists Hill Victorian Town - hammering away
Blists Hill Victorian Town - hammering away
This could as easily be 1912 as 2012 as the Ironworks' large steam hammer is demonstrated shaping reheated scrap wrought iron into a section suitable for rolling. There are no clues to the picture's modernity in evidence as these operatives and the plant work hard in this potentially dangerous environment. The public view is excellent and this is an unrivalled spectacle in British industrial museums.
Hot Iron - Morton's Ironworks at Blists Hill
Generally twice a year for 2 or 3 days, the Blists Hill Museum operates its historic rolling mill, demonstrating how wrought iron was traditionally forged and rolled.
An original furnace is used to heat wrought iron billets, usually obtained from suitable wrought iron scrap. This is then hammered using the steam hammer into an ingot of a size that will run through the rolling mill (driven by a steam engine).
A hot bar will be run through the rolling mill several times to reduce the cross section to a desired size, either in the form of roughly square bar or flat strip. Traditionally, these bars or strips would be further rolled in the finishing mill which reduced the cross section even further, producing small rectangular bar or circular rod.
Today, the output is made available for historic restorations for which genuine wrought iron is the essential material.
Despite the cost of the operation - around 8000 litres of fuel oil alone is necessary to fire the boiler for the steam engine and hammer, as well as the furnace - no extra charge is made on the days when the event is held.
Blists Hill Victorian Town
Blists Hill Victorian Town, originally called Blists Hill Open Air Museum, was opened in 1973, and has been slowly growing ever since. Built on a former industrial complex in the Madeley area of Telford, it is one of ten museums operated by the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust (LinkExternal link ).

In the 18th and 19th centuries, Blists Hill was an industrial region consisting of a brick and tile works, blast furnaces and coal, iron and fire clay mines. A short section of the Shropshire Canal runs across the site to the Hay Inclined Plane, which transported boats up and down the hill from Blists Hill to Coalport.

Many of the museum's buildings are recreations of buildings which stood in the area, replicas of those still standing elsewhere or original buildings that have been relocated to the museum. There are also features that were already part of the industrial site (eg the brick and tile works, the blast furnaces, Hay Inclined Plane, the canal etc).

More information can be found on the Ironbridge Museumsí website LinkExternal link
and this LinkExternal link Wikipedia article
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SJ6903, 424 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Saturday, 4 August, 2012   (more nearby)
Tuesday, 7 August, 2012
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts  People, Events 
Place (from Tags)
Blists Hill 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SJ 6939 0340 [10m precision]
WGS84: 52:37.6493N 2:27.2192W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SJ 6938 0338
View Direction
North-northeast (about 22 degrees)
Looking for a postcode? Try this pageExternal link
Clickable map

Other Tags
Steam Hammer  Wrought Iron  Ironworks 

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