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British Industrial History

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Ellacott and Sons

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Mooring bollard at Padstow
Drain cover.

of Plymouth Foundry & Engineering Works

Also Ellacott & Son.

They had an establishment at East Quay at Millbay. Ellacott took over the above, previously owned by Mare, until 1857, in 1871.

‘ELLACOTT c. 1864-1921

The entry in Plymouth Directory for 1864/65 gives J. Ellacott, Engineers at Briton Side and Sutton Wharf – Millwright, Iron and brass founders and Smiths in general, manufacturing all kinds of machinery, portable and fixed steam engines, ships, pumps etc., also washing, wringing and mangling machines. In 1867 the Western Daily Mercury advertised – “Oats, barley and beans crushed by steam power at J. Ellacott, Engineer, Tin Street, Plymouth.”

The Plymouth Foundry and Engine Works Company Ltd, (previously owned by Mare until 1857), was taken over by Ellacott and Son in 1871. The Western Morning News of 27.8.1891 recorded that Ellacott and Son (Great Western Docks) had donated the sum of £1.0.0 to Hospital Saturday; which perhaps indicated the closure of works in the Town centre.

In the proceedings of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers of 1899, Ellacotts were noted as

producing goods for local requirements of various departments of the Government, County and District Councils, Harbour, Electrical, Gas, Water and other works.

The Plymouth Directory gives the last entry of this company, in 1921. It was eventually amalgamated with Willoughby Bros. Ltd., the site at this time being near the pontoon at East Quay, in the outer basin, of Millbay Dock.

1863 'GO TO JAMES ELLACOTT, the Maker, to save from 30 to 40 per cent - Engineer. Iron-founder, 6. Briton side, and Sutton Wharf, Plymouth. Steam Engines, K.O. Chaff Cutters at £2 2s, Washing, Wringing, and Mangling Machinery, and machines of every description. N.B.—Chaff Knives to pattern, and a fair trial allowed.'[1]

1885 'Plymouth Foundry and Engineering Works. Ellacott & Co., Consulting and Manufacturing Engineers, Millwrights, Ironfounders, Shipbuilders, Boilermakers and Repairers, Patentees and General Contractors to the Home and Foreign Governments, Dock, Harbour, Conservancies and Public Boards and Corporations.[2]

1897. Ellacott & Sons, Plymouth Foundry and Engineering Works, Great Western Docks, Plymouth. (An advert in this publication: ‘contractors to the Admiralty, Corporations .. consulting and manufacturing engineers, millwrights, iron & brass founders, iron ship builders & boilermakers ..’[3]

Existing examples of ‘Ellacott’ products:-

PAVEMENT GUTTERS – Station Road and Ermington Terrace, Kingsley Road, Mutley. ORNAMENTAL RAILINGS – Drake’s Reservoir, Tavistock Road, Masonic Hall, Nr. Hoe. Holyrood Place (West side) near Hoe.’[4]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Western Daily Mercury 22 October 1863 p 1
  2. Western Morning News 17 June 1885 p 1
  3. 1897 Kelly’s Directory
  4. R. R. Laws, The Ironfounders of Plymouth, in Cynthia Gaskell Brown, ed, A Guide to the Industrial Archaeology of Plymouth and Millbrook, Plymouth City Museum, 1980, 47