F J Woods
c 1890s - 1910s
Clay Cross Ironworks
About this image
This large foundry commence in 1864 and shows the 'All Nations' pipe pit looking down to the foundry end. Initially the company produced cast iron pipes, vertically cast, for gas, water and steam pipes. At one time there were eight pipe pits - Well's Pit, All Nations Pit, Jo Ghosts Pit, Charlie Tooley's Pit, Walter Taylor's Pit, Charlie Titteron's Pit, Tommy Whitworth's Pit ('marrionetts') and Jack Pearson's Pit.
The presence of iron ore in this area exerted the first important influence on industrial development, for it was due to smelting this that coal was needed, found and worked at Clay Cross.
This region, south of Sheffield, is less dependent on foreign trade than any other similar area in the country, for the finished products are chiefly home-consumed. Rolling mills and foundries connected with blast furnaces turn-out great quantities of materials which are absorbed in local collieries and other trades in the Midlands, London and Yorkshire. Pig iron has also this market.
The furnaces concentrated in this area certainly owed their origin to the clayground ores which were formerly mined in conjunction with the local coal measures. Their outlook has changed with the development of Jurassic deposits in Northamptonshire, and they now depend entirely upon these ores which are more suitable for making foundry and forge iron than for steel.