Corngreaves Iron Works
The New British Iron Company's Corngreaves Works were at one time the single largest employer in the town of Cradley Heath, a position it held for at least eighty years.
George Attwood began mining the iron ore deposits of Halesowen in the middle of the eighteenth century, and opened the Corngreaves steel works in 1771.
1810 the Attwood family, then owners of Corngreaves Hall, built the first iron works in the town. The Attwoods had been involved in the iron industry for over one hundred years, owning many mills along the River Stour.
By 1825 James Attwood had moved on to land at Corngreaves and the works and their associated collieries and brickworks were linked by a mineral railway to the Dudley Canal and later the Great Western Railway's network.
1825 The works were built on freehold property acquired from John Attwood (sic) (the brother of Thomas Attwood) to the south of Cradley Heath. The directors instituted proceedings to recover the down-payment on the grounds that they had been misled by Attwood as to the true value and prospects of the estate.
1828 The case against Attwood for perjury was heard in February 1828 and he was found not guilty.
1830 further action by the trustees to have the contract set aside which went in their favour in November 1832.
1838 Attwood appealed to the House of Lords; the final verdict was in his favour in March 1838.
1843 The Rowley Regis works became known as New British Iron Co
By 1847 only two furnaces had been built.
By 1854 There were four furnaces on site
By 1860 total of 6 furnaces.
1884 Steel making began.
1894 There were six working collieries belonging to the company.
1894 The works were bought by a former general manager.
1912 Production continued until 1912.
Sources of Information
- Wolverhampton Archives