Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 138,061 pages of information and 222,696 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
In 1795 the first furnace in the Forest of Dean to use coke for smelting iron was established here, half a mile north of Cinderford Bridge (now Ruspidge). Coke was made at nearby Broadmoor and brought by a narrow canal. The iron was of good quality, but production was low and the business was not competitive, and closed, probably in 1806. A new works was established by Moses Teague and William Montague, work starting in late 1827 but not being completed until late 1829. William Allaway, William Crawshay and John Pearce joined in the partnership, the second Cinderford Iron Co. Serious concerns arose in the 1830s, but subsequently there were new subscribers and the business expanded considerably. From 1847-9 William Crawshay and William Allaway each held 50% of the shares. By 1858 there were four blast furnaces, each 43 ft high, together producing 500 tons per week of 'finest hot blast iron'. A network of horse-drawn tramways brought materials in from various places in the forest, later augmented by a steam railway To be continued