Home » Projects » Here

Stirchley Furnaces

Stirchley Furnaces
  • Client :
    Telford and Wrekin Council
  • Architect :
  • Position :
    Principal Contractor
  • Total Value :
  • Date :

This pair of furnaces was built by William and Thomas Botfield in the 1820s, and remained in use until May 1859. The Botfield brothers had extensive iron and coal mining interests in Stirchley and Dawley, with other furnaces at Old Park and Hinkshay (they also built the Hinkshay Rows). Documentary evidence suggests that there were in fact four furnaces on the Stirchley site, although this is not certain. With the collapse of the Botfield concern in the early 1860s the site was sold to the Wellington Coal and Iron Company, who rebuilt large parts of it (including the iconic chimney). The furnaces appear to have been in use briefly in the 1880s, but after that the ironworks closed.

The site was later used by the Wrekin Chemical Company, who appear to have further modified the furnaces.

The 1820s saw the transition from the classic 'masonry stack' type of blast furnace (such as the 1750s Bedlam Furnaces) to the later type with a masonry base and iron superstructure (such as the Blists Hill furnaces of the 1830s and 1840s). Survival of furnaces from this transitional period is quite rare - indeed the Stirchley examples are probably the only ones that have been excavated or examined archaeologically.

The archaeology on the site is ongoing and was undertaken by Paul Belford of Nexus Heritage. 

Cbs undertook a series of structural repairs for Telford and Wrekin Council to stabilise the huge brick and stone structure. The works included:

  • 4 and 6 metre long Cintec ground and corbel anchors
  • Masonry and brick repair/ replacement
  • Re-pointing of brick and stone
  • Hard lime-capping of wall heads

This project encompasses the following services

Church Conservation, St John the Baptist, Kenley Mytton Bridge Wombridge Augustinian Priory Kilpeck Castle, Herefordshire The Cold Bath House, Ludlow, Shropshire War Memorial Alsager St Lawrence’s, Ludlow Wroxeter Roman Town House White Castle, Abergavenny St Peters Church, Stanton Lacy, Shropshire Snailbeach Mines, Shropshire Bowers Yard Lime Kilns ‘Once upon a hill’ Blakemoorgate Hopton Castle, Shropshire. St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland. Attingham Park Northeast Pavillion Richards Castle Stirchley Furnaces Iron Bridge House Brynkinalt Estate, Chirk 40 Pride Hill, Shrewsbury All Saints Church, Grinshill The Church of St John the Baptist, Ruyton XI Towns The Rutland Memorial Fountain, Dublin, Ireland Emo Court, Co. Laoise, Ireland. St Mary’s, Tremadog, Gwynedd. Shrewsbury Railway Station St Govan’s Chapel, Bosherston, Pembs. Flimstone Farmhouse, Castlemartin, Pembs. Old Market Hall, Shrewsbury. The Cross, Oswestry, Shropshire. St Mary’s, Shrewsbury, Shropshire. Wollerton Animal Pound, Wollerton. Sker House, Porthcawl. Chapel of St Thomas, King Williams College, Isle of Man Almshouses, Neath St Pauls Church, Bedford. Manor Farm, Cranage, Cheshire