Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,439 pages of information and 233,876 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Weardale Iron and Coal Co

From Graces Guide

Jump to: navigation, search
1889. From Engineering of 13th December.

Weardale Coal and Iron Co of Tudhoe, Spennymoor; also at Tow Law, Bishop Auckland.

1845 Charles Attwood established the Weardale Iron Co, leasing rights to ironstone in the manors of Stanhope and Wolsingham in Co. Durham.

1846 Expanded to Weardale Iron and Coal Co, with Attwood as managing partner and controlled financially by Baring Brothers

The Weardale company controlled its own resources of iron ore, coal, and limestone.

1852 another processing plant was developed at Tudhoe near Spennymoor; the company also opened three collieries. 3000 employees.

1854 Obtained leases on ironstone deposits in the Cleveland district (later than some others)

1861 installed a set of small Bessemer converters at Tudhoe.

1858–1862 Charles Attwood experimented at Tow Law with the production of steel by melting together cast iron and refined bar iron; this work led to a patent in 1862. He was the first licensee of C. W. Siemens's regenerative gas-fired furnace applied to making steel.

1864 Because of the refusal of Baring Brothers to participate in the exploitation of his patent for a new process for casting steel, Attwood built a new factory on his own account at Wolsingham, the Stanners Closes works; this was to survive for many years within its specialized field of cast-steel articles.

1865 Attwood retired as managing partner of the Weardale company.

1866 See 1866 Cleveland Blast Furnaces for detail of furnaces at Stanhope and Towlaw.

1866 December, Mr. Dyson left the Weardale Iron Company,

1873 Reportedly built one locomotive.

1894 Royal Agricultural Show. Exhibitor (as Weardale Iron Company). [1]

1899 Became the Weardale Steel, Coal and Coke Co. It owned nine collieries in Durham. Annual average output in the past three years was coal 1,350,000 tons; coke 380,000 tons; steel ingots 68,200 tons; and finished iron and steel of 47,300 tons.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Engineer of 6th July 1894 p16
  • British Steam Locomotive Builders by James W. Lowe. Published in 1975. ISBN 0-905100-816
  • Rise of Big Business by Hilary Adair Marquand, Edward Austin, Gossage
  • Biography of Charles Attwood, ODNB [1]