Created 7-Jun-12
Modified 24-Jun-12
Visitors 243
35 photos
Backbarrow. The area around Backbarrow in South Cumbria is of world important in the story of the iron industry. It was also a major manufacturer of ultramarine blue (ie the powder similar to dolly blue), gunpowder, charcoal and other woodland products. Contained in this Gallery is a selection of unique photographs from a private Collection, the Harvey Collection. In addition to the photos there is a collection of documents, the entire collection is destined for a local Archive Record Office.

Backbarrow Iron Works
The importance of the association with John Wilkinson and his father Isaac and Backbarrow and the Industrial Revolution cannot be understated. The iron works dates back to 1711 and was the 1st cold-blast furnace in the north of England & Scotland by Williams, Rawlinson and Co. John Wilkinson the ironmaster ran the Backbarrow furnace for a number of years. He went on experiment with using peat, & launched the 1st cast iron boat on Helton Tarn. Later he moved to Bersham in North Wales and after making his mark there moved to Ironbridge.
The Backbarrow Furnace produced everything from cannon balls to kettles. (The Leven Valley - A secret past R Mein & R Sanderson 2011) Charcoal (produced from extensive local woodland and made into charcoal by a sizeable charcoal-making industry) was used as a fuel right up to 1920 when coke was substituted. The photos include the last casting of pig iron c1967.
(There are more photos in the Collections of the Heritage Photo Archive of the iron works, use the site SEARCH box and search for backbarrow iron.

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Keywords:backbarrow iron works, cumbria, furnaces, furness railway, harvey, industrial archaeology, industrial history, iron furnaces, iron-casting, iron-making, john wilkinson, lake district, lake district, lakeside and haverthwaite Railway, leven valley, railways, victorians

Backbarrow Furnace 1850

Backbarrow Furnace 1850

Backbarrow iron works

Backbarrow iron works

Backbarrow iron works and Mill

Backbarrow iron works and Mill

Backbarrow Iron Works, steam engine in works

Backbarrow Iron Works,  steam engine in works

Backbarrow Iron Works, storage shed over railway

Backbarrow Iron Works,  storage shed over railway

Backbarrow Iron Works, cast iron bucket or cauldron

Backbarrow Iron Works, cast iron bucket or cauldron

Backbarrow Iron Works, casting floor (13)

Backbarrow Iron Works, casting floor (13)

Backbarrow Iron Works, casting shed (23A)

Backbarrow Iron Works, casting shed (23A)

Backbarrow Iron Works, casting shed (23B)

Backbarrow Iron Works, casting shed (23B)

Backbarrow Iron Works, chimneys (17)

Backbarrow Iron Works, chimneys (17)

Backbarrow Iron Works, clearing flow channels (16 V1)

Backbarrow Iron Works, clearing flow channels (16 V1)

Backbarrow Iron Works, clearing flow channels (V2 16)

Backbarrow Iron Works, clearing flow channels (V2 16)

Backbarrow Iron Works, crab in workshop

Backbarrow Iron Works, crab in workshop

Backbarrow Iron Works, final pour to pigs (15)

Backbarrow Iron Works, final pour to pigs (15)

Backbarrow Iron Works, final tapping into ladle (22)

Backbarrow Iron Works, final tapping into ladle (22)

Backbarrow Iron Works, from across river Leven

Backbarrow Iron Works, from across river Leven

Backbarrow Iron Works, from across the Leven

Backbarrow Iron Works, from across the Leven

Backbarrow iron works, from east

Backbarrow iron works, from east

Backbarrow Iron Works, Furnace brickwork

Backbarrow Iron Works, Furnace brickwork

Backbarrow Iron Works, furnace chimney (18)

Backbarrow Iron Works, furnace chimney (18)