John Wilkinson
(1728-1808)

Died aged c. 80

John "Iron-Mad" Wilkinson (1728 – 14 July 1808) was an English industrialist who pioneered the manufacture of cast iron and the use of cast-iron goods during the Industrial Revolution. He was the inventor of a precision boring machine that could bore cast iron cylinders, such as those used in steam engines of James Watt. His boring machine has been called the first machine tool. He also developed a blowing device for blast furnaces that allowed higher temperatures, increasing their efficiency.

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Commemorated on 1 plaque

flipflopnick on Flickr

Hardcragg Hall The oldest house in Grange, Hardcragg Hall is dated 1563. England's famous Ironmaster, John Wilkinson, once lived here. He sailed the first iron built boat on Winster River only two miles away, manufactured pipes for a new water system in Paris and fashioned the cannon used by Wellington who defeated Napolean at Waterloo in 1815. Another resident, W.G. Marshal Townley introduced Jersey cows to this area. Beatrix Potter became a regular visitor to the hall which had its own piggery. There she"met" a friendly "porker"who later became Pigling Bland, a character in one of her successful story books. The site of this piggery is thought to be the present Grange library. Pig Lane to the east of the library derives its name from this.

Grange Fell Road, Grange-over-Sands, United Kingdom where they lived