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British Industrial History

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Court Works

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Court Works Ltd, Madeley, near Telford, Shropshire; a foundry, later specializing in iron castings for the electrical industry.

1544 Robert Brooke bought the Manor of Madeley from Wenlock Priory

1553 Brooke built his house, Madeley Court, on the site of an earlier monastic grange.

1711 Abraham Darby rented part of the house, until his death in 1717.

1828, Stourbridge ironmaster James Foster bought the house and began mining in the area. His company sank seventeen pits altogether.

1843 Foster built three blast furnaces nearby which worked until 1902, being finally dismantled two years later. Their existence is commemorated in the name of The Three Furnaces public house. All the Madeley Court pig iron was sent to the Foster's ironworks in Staffordshire and Worcestershire, to be blended with other types, for the manufacture of high quality bar.

1910 Production at the site ceased; fifteen of the seventeen pits were abandoned officially in 1911[1].

1910[2] or 1912[3] (sic) The ironworks were taken over by Thomas Parker, a successful electrical engineer and local resident who, when young, had worked for Coalbrookdale Co as a moulder. He and his son C. H. Parker established Court Works Ltd., a foundry firm specializing in iron castings for the electrical industry.

1920s Most of the orders came from Sunbeam for cylinder blocks[4].

1925 Charles Parker sold Court Works Ltd to Rootes Bros who were Sunbeam's London agents[5].

1933 By this time Court Works Ltd was a wholly-owned subsidiary of S. T. D. Motors Ltd, and was noted for the good quality of its work[6].

By 1937 was a subsidiary of Heenan and Froude

1965 Court Works Ltd exported castings to almost every country in the world for construction of overhead power lines[7].

1965 Major expansion of Court Works Ltd with investment in a new annealling furnace and a change of sales method, supplying directly the contractors who used their fittings in construction of overhead lines. Expected that production would treble over the next 10 years; plenty of space available on site for expansion[8].

1967 New form of malleable iron developed by technologists at Court Works Ltd; first application in hydraulic tractor cylinder head for automobiles[9].

c.1970 Company was making losses due to reduction in demand from CEGB and certain fixed price contracts.

1972 Newman Industries acquired Court Works and then transferred this interest to Lindop in exchange for shares in that company[10].

1985 Court Works Ltd was still operating at this time [11].

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Madeley Local Studies [1]
  2. [2]
  3. Madeley: Economic history. A History of the County of Shropshire: Volume 11: Telford (1985), pp. 40-56. URL: [3]
  4. [4]
  5. [5]
  6. The Times, 27 March 1933
  7. The Times, 10 March 1965
  8. The Times, 27 May 1965
  9. The Times, 16 May 1967
  10. The Times, 12 April 1972
  11. Madeley: Economic history. A History of the County of Shropshire: Volume 11: Telford (1985), pp. 40-56. URL: [6]