Was this the birthplace of a revolution that changed the world?


Coalbrookdale is a truly significant place in the history of the Industrial Revolution. It was here that Abraham Darby changed ironmaking by using coke instead of charcoal and his original furnace is preserved as a historic reminder.

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My great grandfather “like a rolling stone ….”


My DNA results were a bit of a puzzle. Despite showing the bulk of my ancestry originating in the southeast as well as the southwest of England, from census and birth records I appeared to have NONE from the southeast. My mother's line, going back 400, years were all from Cornwall and my father's line … Continue reading My great grandfather “like a rolling stone ….”

Ancestors forged in iron!


The only sounds now are the calls of the Jackdaws in the swaying rustling trees and the gurgling of the River Duddon just 50 metres away. Once, these woods reverberated to the pounding of hammers, the squeaks of wheelbarrows, the swish of a water wheel, and the roaring of an early Industrial Revolution iron blast … Continue reading Ancestors forged in iron!

Three “cast iron” events that defined my immediate ancestors lives … and mine!


Between 1855 and the end of that century a number of significant events occurred that impacted on the lives of my ancestors, and directly on my own life too. They placed our lives within a context, a history of the times, something which I am finding to be the most interesting part of my family … Continue reading Three “cast iron” events that defined my immediate ancestors lives … and mine!

4. Steel-Historic Duddon Bridge Furnace


A wonderful site of industrial archaeology, Duddon Furnace in South Cumbria, UK. Built in 1736 it operated as a charcoal burning iron Blast Furnace until 1867. Once overgrown with weeds and brambles, I used to play here as a child. Now a Grade II listed building and managed by English Heritage it has been cleaned … Continue reading 4. Steel-Historic Duddon Bridge Furnace