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Name:Britannia Ironworks, Gainsborough
HER Number:55252
Type of record:Building

Summary

Britannia Ironworks, Beaumont Street and Spring Gardens, Gainsborough

Grid Reference:SK 817 896
Map Sheet:SK88NW
Parish:GAINSBOROUGH, WEST LINDSEY, LINCOLNSHIRE

Full description

PRN 55252
Engineering works, built as a steam traction engine works for Marshall and Sons Co Ltd, from 1848 onwards. Red brick with slate and asbestos roofs. For the full description and the legal address of this listed building please refer to the appropriate List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest.{1}
This famous engineering works was founded in Gainsborough in 1848 by William Marshall, a millwright. He purchased the millwright business of William Garland in 1855 and by the end of 1885 the works encompassed a 16 acre site including 11.5 acres of building - constructed with bricks made on site - and employed nearly 1,900 men. Portable steam engines, threshing machines and agricultural machinery was exported from Marshall's all over the world. In 1861 William Marshall died and the firm was taken over by his sons, James and Henry. The First World War (1914-1918) saw the decline of many of Marshall's traditional markets (although during the war the works employed 5,000 men and women in the manufacture of munitions). However, by the 1920s the firm was in the forefront of internal combustion engine tractor and stationary oil engine design in England. In the years after the war, Marshall's declined as a company, but in March 1936 an entirely new company, named Marshall, Sons & Company (Successors) Ltd. was formed. Initially, the new company was involved in the production of tractors, road rollers and the like, but it was during the Second World War that Marshall's became involved in the manufacture of a midget submarine. Boilers for industry and the RAF, agricultural machinery and machinery for road building and maintenance were the mainstay of Marshall's up to its closure. The Britannia Works are now largely empty.{2}
A historic building record was undertaken at the former Britannia Ironworks. A scheme of recording was required prior and during demolition and alteration of a Listed Building. The survey would act as a record of the historic fabric and remains, and included a rectified photographic survey of certain parts of the building complex.{2}
A watching brief was carried out during groundworks on part of the site in 2006. Small parts of building foundations, brick culverts and pipe ducts relating to the works complex were identified as well as pits containing waste sand from the foundries. {3}{4}


<1> Department of the Environment, 1977, List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest, 1/50 (167.006) (Index). SLI2315.

<2> Collins, P., Sep 2005, Historic Building Record of The Britannia Ironworks, Gainsborough, - (Report). SLI10429.

<3> Lindsey Archaeological Services, 2006, Marshall's Yard, Gainsborough: Archaeological Watching Brief, GMY06 (Report). SLI11128.

<4> Lindsey Archaeological Services, 2006, Marshall's Yard, Gainsborough: Archaeological Watching Brief, LCNCC 2006.117 (Archive). SLI11129.

Monument Types

  • AGRICULTURAL ENGINEERING WORKS (Post Medieval to Modern - 1855 AD to 1999 AD)
  • FACTORY (Post Medieval to Modern - 1855 AD to 1999 AD)
  • FOUNDRY (Post Medieval to Modern - 1855 AD to 1999 AD)
  • BRICKWORKS (Post Medieval to Modern - 1867 AD to 1903 AD)
  • SAW MILL (Post Medieval to Modern - 1885 AD to 1903 AD?)
  • BOILER WORKS (Modern - 1902 AD to 1939 AD)
  • AIRCRAFT FACTORY (Modern - 1914 AD to 1918 AD)
  • MUNITIONS FACTORY (Modern - 1914 AD to 1918 AD)
  • ORDNANCE FACTORY (Modern - 1914 AD to 1918 AD)
  • WIRE MILL (Modern - 1937 AD to 1975 AD)
  • ORDNANCE FACTORY (Modern - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)

Associated Events

  • Historic Building Record of Britannia Ironworks, Gainsborough
  • Site visit to The Britannia Ironworks, Gainsborough
  • Watching brief at Marshall's Yard, Gainsborough

Protected Status

  • Listed Building
  • Conservation Area

Sources and further reading

<1>Index: Department of the Environment. 1977. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. 1/50 (167.006).
<2>Report: Collins, P.. Sep 2005. Historic Building Record of The Britannia Ironworks, Gainsborough. -.
<3>Report: Lindsey Archaeological Services. 2006. Marshall's Yard, Gainsborough: Archaeological Watching Brief. GMY06.
<4>Archive: Lindsey Archaeological Services. 2006. Marshall's Yard, Gainsborough: Archaeological Watching Brief. LCNCC 2006.117.

Related records

55530Related to: Southern Industrial Quarter, Gainsborough (Monument)