Abraham Darby memorial given green light
A memorial to a Dudley-born pioneer who transformed the production of iron that helped kick-start the Industrial Revolution will be erected in the town.
Dudley Council planners have given the go-ahead to a proposal for a structure to celebrate the life of Abraham Darby I to be placed on the corner of Sedgley Road and Birmingham New Road.
Darby was born in Woodsetton in 1678 and it was he who developed a method of producing pig iron in a blast furnace using coke instead of charcoal, which was in short supply at the time.
This is widely credited as playing a hugely important role in the Industrial Revolution. Darby died at his home in Shropshire in 1717 aged just 38.
Residents and councillors, along with members of the Woodsetton Charitable Trust and Friends of Wrens Nest groups, have been working to secure funding to produce the permanent memorial to him.
The application to planners said the steel memorial will take the form of a cross section through his 1709 blast furnace, used to successfully develop his new method of casting iron.
It will also have figures of a silhouette of six pig iron workers in front and lettered cast iron ground plaques.
The area where it will be situated is mostly residential and no objections were received during the consultation process.
A report to committee said: “The location of the memorial would provide a prominent position within the local area as well as providing space for people to congregate at times of commemoration.
“The siting of the memorial close to the junction with Sedgley Road and Birmingham New Road would provide a positive visual focal point to an otherwise flat featureless area of amenity grass enhancing the character of the area and increasing the use and purpose of the existing area of informal open space to the public benefit.”