Appleby-Frodingham Steel Company

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The Appleby-Frodingham Steel Company was formed in 1912 by a take over of the Appleby Ironworks by the Frodingham Ironworks. Both of these companies, located in villages near Scunthorpe, in North Lincolnshire, are amongst the areas oldest iron producers.


Although iron ores had been found in the area in Roman times they had been forgotten until rediscovered in 1859 resulting in the foundation of an iron industry in the villages around Scunthorpe. The extraction of the iron ore commenced in July 1860 and much of this was sold to the Dawes brothers, proprietors of an iron works at Elsecar, near Barnsley. At the time there was no railway east of the River Trent so the ore had to be taken to a wharf at Gunness (or Gunhouse), where it was loaded into barges or taken across the river to join the South Yorkshire Railway’s line from Keadby. The Dawes brothers were persuaded to build an iron works adjacent to the iron fields, which became known as the Trent Ironworks, and construction began in 1862, the first cast being made on 26 March 1864. It was not long before others followed where the Dawes brothers had started. First to come was the Frodingham Ironworks, near the village of the same name and now part of Scunthorpe, on which work began in 1864, Following this came the North Lincoln Ironworks in 1866, the Redbourn Hill Iron & Coal Company (1872), Appleby Ironworks (1876) and finally John Lysaght's Iron and Steel works (1911).

Crude steel was first made at Frodingham in 1887 but this was considered not to be viable. Things were to change two years later with the coming of Maxmilian Mannaburg to the works. With his experience he took over control of the steelmaking plant and on the night of 21 March 1890 the first steel was tapped.

Dawes' Trent Ironworks passed to a Leeds solicitor upon their bankruptcy in 1887. It then passed to Sheffield steel makers Firth Brown Steels, later to John Lysaght and then the Appleby-Frodingham Steel Co. who closed and demolished the plant.

The Appleby Ironworks was taken over by the Frodingham Ironworks company in 1912 to form the Appleby-Frodingham Steel Company and following the end of the First World War in 1918 they joined with Rotherham based steel makers Steel, Peech and Tozer, Samuel Fox and Company of Stocksbridge and various colliery interests to form the United Steel Companies Limited. In 1931 the North Lincoln Ironworks, which had been previously sold to Stewarts & Lloyds Limited, were purchased by the United Steel Companies Ltd.

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