Survey in Wrexham, Bersham
I carried out a survey for a garage door and gate in Bersham this week. The photograph shows a building once a steel works. Today, it is known to have been the first ever precision machine shop, and, the birthplace of the industrial revolution.
I myself used to visit Bersham as a child. My Nain, a Welsh speaking woman, lived on Bersham Road. I suppose it is flattering to know that this is probably the most important little plot of land in the world today!
Simon Winchester, in his recent book, 'Exactly - how precision engineers created the modern world' (HarperCollins, 2018), makes the point as follows:
"Bersham, which lies in the volley of the River Clywedog, enjoys an indisputable though half-forgotten role both in the founding of the Industrial Revolution and in the story of precision. For it is here that on January 27, 1774, John Wilkinson, whose local furnaces, all fired by coal, were produucing a healthy twenty tones of good-quality iron a week, invented a technique for the manufacture of guns. The technique had an immediate cascade effect very much more profound than those he ever imagined, and of greater long-term importance, I would argue, than the much more famed legacies of his friend and rival Abraham Darby III, who threw up the still-standing great Iron Bridge of Coalbrookdale that attracts tourist millions still today, and is regarded by most modern Britons as the Industrial Revolution's most potent and recognizable symbol." (41)
So this quiet little ruin we used to play in as children has a unique place in world history. The Iron Bridge is, of course, near Telford; but Wrexham is where It is at.