Reference code(s): GB 0214 DG
Held at: Glamorgan Archives
Title: Dowlais Iron Company collection
Short Title: Dowlais Iron Company collection
Creation date(s): 1792-1955
Level of description: Fonds
Extent: 23 cubic metres
Name of creator(s): Dowlais Iron Company; Guest, Keen and Company; Guest, Keen and Nettlefolds and Co. Ltd
Administrative/Biographical history: The Dowlais Iron Company was founded in 1759 when an agreement of co-operation was signed by 9 parties, to build a furnace for the production of iron. In its first year the primitive furnace produced 500 tons of iron. In 1763, another 22 acres of land was leased from Lady Windsor, which enabled the company to build more furnaces, mills, forges and housing for the growing workforce. In 1767 John Guest of Broseley, Shropshire, was appointed manager, and in 1782 he became a partner. By 1851, the Guest family had managed to buy out all the remaining partners until the company was brought under the sole ownership of Josiah John Guest. Under the management of the Guest family the company rapidly expanded in the wake of the railway boom of the 1820s and the 1830s. By 1842 over 5,000 people were employed by the company in 17 blast furnaces. By the end of the nineteenth century, local iron ore reserves were near exhaustion, and iron ore was imported from Spain. The import of raw materials precipatated a move to the coast and a new iron works was built on the East Moors at Cardiff Docks. Meanwhile the original iron works at Dowlais managed to consolidate its position as the most important iron works in south Wales, after it purchased the Penydarren works in 1859 and the Cyfartha works in 1898. In 1901 the end of Dowlais as an independent concern arrived when it became part of Guest, Keen and Company. In 1902, it became part of the Guest, Keen and Nettlefolds and Co. Ltd. The production of steel at Dowlais came to an end in 1930 when the steelworks closed.
Scope and content/abstract: Records of the Dowlais Iron Company including letter books, deeds, plans and drawings and minutes, 1792-1955
Language/scripts of material: English
System of arrangement: Arranged chronologically by series
Conditions governing access: No restrictions
Conditions governing reproduction: Normal Glamorgan Record Office conditions apply
Finding aids: A full version of the catalogue can be searched online at http://calmview.cardiff.gov.uk/calmview/
Accruals: Accruals are not expected
Immediate source of acquisition: Deposited by a private body
Archivist's note: Compiled by David Morris for the ANW project. The following source was used for compilation: Glamorgan Record Office finding aids.
Rules or conventions: Description follows Archives Network Wales guidelines based on ISAD(G) second edition; AACR2 and LCSH.
Date(s) of descriptions: December 2006