Early Birthplaces

Explore the history of European blast furnaces from 1800

Early Birthplaces > Ironbridge > Blast Furnaces - paintings 1/2

The Upper Works at Coalbrookdale, hand-coloured engraving 1758 by Francois Vivares (1709-80) after Thomas Smith of Derby (d1767)

One of a pair of large engravings commissioned to show the Works in a good light. The team of horses are pulling a cast iron steam engine cylinder. On the far right are heaps of coke and in the centre can be seen the square top of the Old Furnace. The houses of the Derby dynasty of ironmasters can be seen rising up the hill, many of them still there today.

The Upper Works at Coalbrookdale
(Ironbridge Gorge Museum)

The South West Prospect of Coalbrookdale, hand-coloured engraving 1758, the companion piece to The Upper Works
A more distant view, the smoke on the right is from the coke heaps, with the higher plumes rising form the furnaces.

The South West Prospect of Coalbrookdale
(Ironbridge Gorge Museum)

An Iron Work for Casting Cannon, uncoloured engraving 1788, by Wilson Lowry (1762-1824) after George Robertson (1724-88)

Alexander Brody’s cannon foundry on the south bank of the River Severn half a mile downstream of the Iron Bridge.

An Iron Work for Casting Cannon
(Ironbridge Gorge Museum)

The Inside of a Smeltinng House at Broseley Shropshire, uncoloured engraving 1788, by Wilson Lowry (1762-1824) after George Robertson (1724-88)

The inside of the iron works shown above, though the people are about half the size they should be, which has made the blast furnace see larger.

The Inside of a Smeltinng House at Broseley Shropshire
(Ironbridge Gorge Museum)

Coalbrookdale by Night, oil on canvas, 1801, by Philip James de Loutherbourg (1740-1812)

This is actually Bedlam Furnaces on the right, with the coke heaps behind creating firey glow. The large building on the left has nothing to do with the furnaces and was known as Bedlam Hall.

Coalbrookdale by Night
(Science Museum London)

Iron Works, Coalbrookdale, hand-coloured aquatint 1805, by William Pickett (active 1791-1820) after P J de Loutherbourg (1740-1812)

This is the same Bedlam Furnaces painted by de Loutherbourg in 1801 and probably based on the sketches done fort that oil painting. The aquatint was one of the plates for his book ‚The Picturesque Scenery of England and Wales’.

Iron Works, Coalbrookdale
(Ironbridge Gorge Museum)