Fitzgerald Contractors along with visitors and local residents joined at Telford Town Park have to mark the transformation of Stirchley kilns following extensive renovation works.
The works began in August 2009 to remove overgrown vegetation around the iconic Stirchley chimney area of the park. Throughout the process Telford & Wrekin Council’s team began to uncover artefacts and local wildlife including a significant structure which was identified as one of four Botfield Furnaces built by ironmasters William and Thomas Botfield in the 1820s.
They formed part of an extensive industrial landscape of coal and ironstone mining, smelting furnaces and forges.
The furnace is tentatively associated with Thomas Botfield’s hot blast patent of 1828, which represents a significantly early attempt to introduce the hot blast method to the ironmaking process.
Following the discovery the Council appointed Fitzgerald Contractors to renovate the area and other historical regions of the park into hard landscaped open spaces.
Councillor Arnold England, cabinet member for Leisure and Well-being noted: “It’s a great place to take the children where our Learning Zone tells the story of the renovation with a brand new picnic area to enjoy your lunch at.
“This great new facility reminds us of the rich and varied history of our local area and is a good way to get your children learning something new while having fun at the same time.”
The chimney learning zone improvement works form part of the Parks for the People project funded by the heritage lottery fund where the Stirchley kilns have been extensively renovated to their original state.
In addition, there will be interpretation boards installed in the area to explain the historical value of the site in 2013.
There is currently more archaeology work taking place on this site to establish a detailed plan of the industrial activities that took place at this historic location within Telford Town Park.