Tyne and Wear HER(3504): Gateshead, Park Iron Works - Details
Gateshead, Park Iron Works
Metal Smelting Site
The first buildings of Abbot and Company's Park Iron Works were built in 1834. The firm was founded in Gateshead High Street by Joseph Abbot, brassfounder and coppersmith in 1770. On his death in 1812, Joseph Abbot was succeeded by his son, John, who moved the firm to Oakwellgate in around 1825 and subsequently undertook great expansion of the business. On the 25 March 1835 John Abbot of Gateshead, described as a 'manufacturer & dealer in copper, brass, iron and lead' took a lease of three fields on the east side of Maiden's Walk. An undated plan by Thomas Bell shows the initial development of the works - called the Park Iron Works - confined to the eastern field boundary of North and South West Closes, but about to expand eastwards. By 1841 the workforce was 640, making anchors, chains, chain cables and nails. By 1889 the workforce was up to 2000 and the variety of products much wider, including cranes, steam and hydraulic machinery, brass and copper goods, tinware and pewter pots. There was even a Japanning shop, suggesting that some of the products were 'fancy goods'. The works were supplied with coal from Maiden's Walk Coal Drops. By 1898 the works had its own internal railway system, connected to the old Oakwellgate Colliery wagonway. As late as 1907 the works employed 1,180 people. It closed in 1909 and by 1913 the site was completely cleared of standing buildings and the only traces of the Works subsequently visible were fragments of brick and stone walls at the north east end of Maiden's Walk.
<< HER 3504 >> 1st edition Ordnance Survey Map, c.1855, 6 inch scale, Durham, 2 Ayris, I M, 1992, The Industrial Development of the Area East of Oakwellgate, Gateshead, p.1, 2 Northern Counties Archaeological Services, 1998, Gateshead Regional Music Centre, Archaeological Assessment T.Oliver, 1831, A Perambulatory Survey, in A picture of Newcastle upon Tyne, pp 137-138 F.W.D. Manders, 1973, A History of Gateshead, p 66-67 J. Woods, 1827 Broadway Malyan, 2002, Baltic Quay, South Shore Road, Gateshead, Environmental Impact Assessment, p 230 Robinson Son and Pike, 1910; The Archaeological Practice Ltd., 2009, West Central Gateshead - Archaeological Assessment; TWAS, Plan of Gateshead Park Iron Works, c.1850 (DT.BEL/2/188)