Thursday, 13 November 2008

Kent Ironworks

We have a request for information about Kent Ironworks. This seems to have been based at Dreadnought Wharf in Thames Street, Greenwich and also at a site about half way up Norway Street which was known as Victoria Foundry.

I've raked the following info out of my notes on the area - and everyone would be grateful to know more.

I think the Norway Street site was the original Greenwich gas works site. I wrote this site up in Bygone Kent - (The first Greenwich Gasworks and how it fell down. BGK 20 No.6. June 1999)

By 1841 the Norway Street site had been let to a I then got interested in the steam engine builder William Joyce, who, I assume also had Dreadnought Wharf. He seems to have died very young in 1856 and is buried in Nunhead Cemetery. He lived in Diamond Terrace. He seems to have built many steam engines and notes about them often turn up in histories of local works. I also have a note that he built steam flour mills for Symrna in 1850 but more importantly a ship called the City of Paris – presumably this was built at Dreadnought Wharf. He also may have built a steam yacht for the Pasha of Egypt. He was also probably involved in some of the early steam cars which were made locally.

After Joyce died the works was taken over by Cowan - and there is a photograph in the

the biography of the torpedo manufacturer Alfred Yarrow which and shows him as a very young man in a steam car built for him by Cowans which is clearly marked 'Kent Iron works'.

Always grateful for more info

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