Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Millom Hematite Ore and Iron Co

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1961. Blast furnace.
1966. Spray steelmaking.
1968 aerial view (from local display board, 2019)
2019. Iron 'plug' and firebrick furnace bottom of No. 1 blast furnace. The remains of the steel shell of the furnace surround the plug
2019. Remains of slag heap, with Lake District hills in background

Millom Hematite Ore and Iron Co of Millom, Cumberland

See also Millom Blast Furnaces.

1959 The name of Millom and Askam Hematite Iron Co Ltd was changed to Millom Hematite Ore and Iron Co Ltd.

1963 At this time Cranleigh Group owned Millom Hematite Ore and Iron Co which purchased Gjers, Mills and Co and Barrow Ironworks from the Holding and Realization Agency[1]. The purchasers intended to close Barrow at an early date but undertook to keep Gjers operating for at least 2 years, despite the depressed state of trade.

In 1966 it was decided to embark on large-scale experiments on the direct production of steel from molten iron using the SPRAY STEEL process. The first steel was produced on 18 May 1966. Results were promising, but development was eventually curtailed due to lack of financial support.[2]

1968 The ironworks closed with the direct loss of 550 jobs.

The site is now (2019) the 'Millom Ironworks Local Nature Reserve'. Most of the buildings have been cleared, but there are prominent remains in the form of part of the slag bank, and a large 'plug' or 'bloom' which was left in the bottom of No. 1 blast furnace.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, 17 January 1963
  2. [1] 'Spray Steel Making', by J. D. Sharp, in 'Applied Science in the Casting of Metals' edited by K. Strauss, Foseco International Ltd, 1970