Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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J. and E. Walker

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of Gospel Oak Iron Works, Tipton

1817 Samuel Walker, of Aldwark Hall, grandson of Samuel Walker of Rotherham, with his cousin William Yates, purchased the Gospel Oak Iron Works, Tipton.

1822 Walker and Yates removed the models and machinery for making cannon from the Samuel Walker and Co foundry at the Holmes, Rotherham, to Gospel Oak.

The enterprise failed though two of his sons later made it a profitable concern.

1825 Supplied ironwork for Hammersmith Bridge, a suspension bridge in London[1]

1826 Samuel returned to Rotherham

1846 The Albert Dock was established, with one of the first dockside warehouses designed to be resistant to fire, with cast iron columns from the Gospel Oak Works.

A similar construction followed at the Gladstone Dock, Liverpool.

1848 the works were owned by John and Edward Walker, '...the manufacture of iron and tinplates is largely carried on; and adjacent is a foundry in which bridges, immense quantities of cannon, etc, are made. These works together employ 350 persons, and the wrought-iron cannon produced in the establishment have been brought to such perfection as probably to supersede brass cannon, from their possessing more tenacity, when hot, than those of brass, and not being heavier, a great desideratum with artillery-men...'[2].

c.1860 The company ceased trading; the works were sold on and were eventaully demolished, when the site became known as The Lunt.

By 1862 Walter Robinson and Co (Tipton) occupied Gospel Oak Works

1866 Reference to the company as "the late J. and E. Walker who supplied the government with cannon". Their equipment was taken over by three former employees who have set up as the Hope Co

At some later time but prior to 1902 the Blackwall Galvanised Iron Co acquired the Gospel Oak Co, whose brands of galvanized sheets (Poplar, Blackwall and Gospel Oak) were widely traded in Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, and other parts of the world.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Engineering Timelines[1]
  2. A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848) by Samuel Lewis
  • Walker Iron Works of Masbrough [2]
  • The Engineer of 5th January 1866 p2
  • Black Country Museum [3]