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Wellington Journal & Shrewsbury News, April 16, 1910


A South Wales company, writes Mr.John Randall of Madeley, Salop, has bought Billingsley, which is situated a few miles south of Bridgnorth, and is about to lay down a line of railway to connect its mineral property with the Severn Valley Line at Eardington, formerly celebrated for the largest charcoal works in the kingdom carried on here by Mr. James Foster of Stanton Castle, who made excellent gun iron, charcoal wire, and horse-nails. They were subsequently removed by the late William Orme Foster to Stourbridge.

Lord Barnard and Lord Boyne, both of whom have properties in the neighbourhood are believed to be interested in the new company. Lord Boyne has already made a railway as far as Burwarton, and he is about to continue it to Eardington to meet the company's new line, and link both with the with Severn Valley line about a mile south of Bridgnorth. The erection of cottages for the workmen to be employed has already been commenced, and every effort will be made to prove and develop the mineral resources of the district.

A Liverpool company built blast furnaces here many years ago near the Severn, and considerable works were formerly carried on, as indicated by the old grass-grown mounds and workmen's cottages now in ruins. This company sank several shafts in the following order:- First, coal three, feet thick; second, 1ft. 6in.; clods and ironstone, 3ft. 6in.; and a third coal, which thins out to 1ft. 6in.; four feet of shale then occur, and a measure of 2ft. then conducts to fourth coal, which is 2ft. thick.

In the "Victoria History of Shropshire" Mr. Randall gives the section of a shaft in which occur many more coals than those given above, but they differ very much both in thickness and in quality.

The iron ores of Billingsley are of exceptionally good quality, and Sir Roderick Murchison pronounced them equal to any of the mining districts of Staffordshire. There is also an excellent fire-clay equal to any in the kingdom, which should be a great boon to the china works of Worcester, and the glass works of Stourbridge.


Submitted by Steve Dewhirst

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