Artwork honouring industrial titan Abraham Darby is unveiled

Artwork designed to honour Abraham Darby I, the father of the industrial revolution, has finally been unveiled at the gateway to where he was born.

Steve Field with the artwork
Steve Field with the artwork

Abraham Darby was born in the late 1600s in Wren's Nest in Woodsetton, Staffordshire, which is now part of Dudley.

He went on to develop a method of producing pig iron in a blast furnace fuelled by coke rather than charcoal.

This process marked a major step forward in the production of pig iron and made it possible to manufacture thin castings that could compete with brass in the manufacture of pots and other hollow ware.

He and his successors would also go on to have a major role in the industry of Coalbrookdale in Shropshire.

Now the artwork, completed by Steve Field, the borough artist for Dudley Council, has been installed at the junction of Sedgley Road and Birmingham New Road.

Councillor Adam Aston and former councillor Keiran Casey, a committee member of Woodsetton Charitable Trust, unveiled the metal sculpture.

Keiran said: "This sculpture is really a showcase in the are for the companies we still have in the Black Country and Dudley.

"The first Abraham Darby is known as the father of the Industrial Revolution and not many people realise he was born in the area.

"As far as we know there is no other memorial to him and I think the fact that he was born locally and what he achieved has largely not been noticed.

"The Trust has raised money for many projects locally such as improvements to green spaces and bridleways.

"Many companies wanted to be involved and have come forward to sponsor the memorial statue.

"If it had not been for Abraham Darby and his discovery then many companies might not have been around.

"The setting for the memorial is very prominent and this will act as a gateway to where Darby was born."

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