Monument taking shape to honour 'father of the Industrial Revolution'

A monument is taking shape to honour the "father of the Industrial Revolution" who was born in the Black Country in 1678.

The foundations being put into place
The foundations being put into place

Foundations are being laid for the monument to remember Abraham Darby l at the corner of Sedgley Road and Birmingham New Road, in Woodsetton, Dudley.

Mr Darby was born not far away at Old Farm Lodge, Wrens Nest.

He invented a much quicker way of producing iron - at his furnace in Coalbrookdale, in the Ironbridge Gorge, Shropshire - that helped to kick-start the industrial revolution.

His grandson, Abraham Darby lll, went on to build the actual Iron Bridge, which opened in 1781.

The idea of the monument was thought up by Upper Gornal and Woodsetton councillors Keiran Casey and Adam Aston, alongside local resident Mandy Caddick and community groups Woodsetton Trust and The Friends of Wrens Nest Nature Reserve.

The foundations of the monument in Woodsetton

A range of local companies including Hadley Group, Midtherm Laser Cutting and Thomas Dudley Ltd have been involved in putting the monument together.

Holden's brewery, in Woodsetton, also brewed a special commemorate Molten Glow ale to help raise funds for the new monument.

Councillor Casey said: "This has been a fantastic community project right from the start and I've been blown away by the help and support that we have received from local businesses".

"We've been working hard to keep pushing this along and now we can finally see this coming to fruition with the first initial works taking place on site".

The top part of the sculpture
Moulds being made for the monument
Moulds being made for the monument

Paul Floyd, from The Friends of Wrens Nest, said: "Friends of Wrens Nest National Nature Reserve are delighted to see that work is now well underway to commemorate Abraham Darby.

"He is a person of enormous significance to our country's industrial heritage and whose birthplace we are proud to celebrate as being situated on what is now Wrens Nest National Nature Reserve - a site which is of worldwide importance in its own right, of course, but even more so as the birthplace of the father of the industrial revolution."

Harry Brookes, from Woodsetton Charitable Trust, added: "We are delighted to be part of the team working towards this excellent memorial project which will impact upon the historical background of the community and provide a focal point for schools to use for educational purposes in local history."

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