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British Industrial History

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Bridge Foundry, Warrington

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Bridge Foundry Co., of Warrington

1810 Advertisement: 'IRON FOUNDRY. TO BE SOLD OR LET, BY PRIVATE CONTRACT, AN Old Established IRON FOUNDRY, in Warrington, the property of the late Mr. William Whitley, commonly known by the name the Bridge Foundry, together with the steam engine, (on Bolton and Watt's principle) fifteen horse power, boring mill, boxes, patterns, and stock in trade—is well calculated for carrying on business to any extent being situated on the banks of the river Mersey, where goods may be shipped or discharged at very trifling expence. Immediate possession may had. For further particulars apply to Mr, JOHN STUBS, file manufacturer, of Warrington aforesaid.'[1]

1818 The foundry was advertised for sale after the death of Sarah Whitley.

1825 Listed as iron and brass founders, millwrights and engineers, Mersey Street[2]

1840 'WARRINGTON. There is now building in the yard connected with the Bridge Foundry Company, Warrington, a splendid Iron Steam Boat, about 119 feet long, and 19 feet beam; to be propelled by two engines of about 35 horse power each, manufactured on the same premises. Several of the nobility and scientific gentlemen of the neighbourhood having inspected the various parts of the vessel and machinery during its progress, have expressed themselves being highly delighted with the firmness and strength of the materials arid the excellence and skill of the workmanship. The launch is expected to take place about the 18th of January.'[3]

1840 'Navigation of the Mersey — The Warrington, a new iron steamer of 200 tons burthen, builder's measurement, built entirely, engines and hull, by the Warrington Bridge Foundry Company, made her first experimental trip down the Mersey to Liverpool and back on Wednesday. On her downward passage she sailed remarkably well, and took in tow several flats bound to Liverpool. On her return home she started from the Old Quay Pier. Liverpool, to the Old Quay at Runcorn, in 1 hour and 22 minutes, towing one of Messrs. John Hodson and Co.'s flats from Runcorn to Warrington, distance of 10½ miles. Her speed was put to the test, and in spite of a heavy fresh, and the disadvantage of getting up her steam after stopping at Runcorn, she completed the distance in 47 minutes. As far as the navigation of the Mersey is concerned, all difficulties thrown in the way of Warrington one day becoming a bonded port, have now been made to disappear.'[4]

1841 'Launch of an Iron Vessel On Tuesday last, a handsome brig, named the John Wilson Patten, built of iron, was launched from the yard of the Bridge Foundry Company, at Warrington. We are informed she is built for a house in Liverpool, and is intended for the African trade.—A numerous concourse of people were assembled to witness the scene, and the vessel glided most gracefully into the Mersey precisely at twelve o'clock.'[5]

1842 Death announcement: '13th inst. Warrington, aged 63, Mr. William Frost, late manager of the Bridge Foundry for upwards of thirty years; much lamented by a large circle of friends.'[6]

1844 Sale Notice: 'Valuable Steam Engines, Machinery, Boilers, Mill Geering, Patterns, Smiths' and Millwrights' Tools, Lathes, Two Powerful Cranes, &c. &c.
MR. HILL has been favoured with instructions to SELL BY AUCTION, (without reserve,) on the premises of the Bridge Foundry, Warrington, on Monday the 20th day January, 1845, and eight following days of business, the Whole of the very Valuable and Extensive Stock-in-Trade, comprising one 16-horse condensing engine, with boiler complete, in good working condition; two 5-horse high-pressure do. New; one 8-horse high-pressure do. do.; planing machine 22 feet by 4 feet, by Marsland and Son, Burnley; do. do. 7ft. by 2ft. 6in. Whitworth’s patent upright drilling machine, with 2½-inch bar speed pulleys, table frame, and two smaller do. do.; slotting machine, screwing machine, with geering complete, and a variety of slide and common lathes from 9 to 36 inches, with geering; millwrights' boring and turning tools; two powerful foundry cranes, crabs, and shears; cast and iron columns and piping; moulders' boxes, smiths' anvils and tools; two cattle cane mills, with 15½-inch rollers, bright wrought, with shafting and pulleys; iron sheds, air furnaces, rod and bar iron, polished and cast steel, screw bolts and nuts; quantity of brass taps, steps, &c.; brassfounders' tools and furnace; iron and brass borings; large quantity of scrap iron; patternmakers' benches; a lot of ash plank, and other timber; quantity of red varnish; an immense number of patterns of every description, suitable for an extensive foundry, among which are engine patterns, from one to 60-horse power; lathe do.; spur, bevel, mortice, and mitre wheel; pinion do. of almost every size, particulars of which will be found in the catalogues; stove, gate, palisade, bone, malt and cattle cane mill; pulley, railway wheel, thrashing machine, patent mangle, window frame, &c., &c.; large weighing machine, scales and weights; lurry, with 6-inch wheels and double and single shafts; hand do.; broad and narrow-wheeled carts with iron arms, &c; drawing tables, counters and office fixtures, gas meters and fittings, two iron safes, and a variety of other articles.
Catalogues may be had on application to Mr. J. Haddock, bookseller, Warrington, or the Auctioneer, Church-street….. '[7]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Chester Courant, 13 March 1810
  2. 'History, Directory, and Gazeteer of the County of Lancaster', Vol 2, by Edward Baines and W. Parson
  3. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 11 January 1840
  4. Hereford Journal, 16 December 1840
  5. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 18 September 1841
  6. Chester Chronicle, 27 May 1842
  7. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 28 December 1844