Bedlam-furnace.JPG (18261 bytes)Bedlam Furnaces: If you travel a short distance, from Ironbridge, on the road to Coalport you will come upon Bedlam Furnaces, one of the best-preserved 18th century ironworks. The Madeley Wood Company built the furnaces in 1757. To the left is the engine house this housed the beam engine. To the right is the site of a water wheel powered by water from the river. The water wheel operated the bellows for two furnaces. The original name was Madeley Wood Furnaces but newspapers of the day changed this to Bedlam (meaning madhouse: scenes of uproar) because the furnaces appeared to be scenes of horror with heaps of burning ironstone and smouldering coke.
Bedlam Furnaces were thought to have been used to cast components for the Ironbridge because they were close to the bridge site. Contemporary records indicate that furnaces at Coalbrookdale were probably used for casting bridge components.
Sorry about the modern intrusion in our image. Couldn’t find the owner to move the vehicle.