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24 September 2014

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You are in: Essex > Coast > The Foundry

The view across the backwaters

The view across the backwaters

The Foundry

A once grand Iron Foundry stands at the end of the Backwaters. Formerly Walton’s biggest employer it had long since closed its doors.

In the 19th century John Warner came to Walton with his family and immediately started to develop the area. Warner’s developments helped to make Walton into a thriving seaside resort. The opening lines of a poem in a Guide to Walton-on-the-Naze published in the mid 19th century said

Choose the green path on the left

Take the green path (L) not the driveway

When pleasure you seek
For a month or a week,
Or when your pursuit
Is your health to recruit,
To Walton repair.

When John Warner died in 1852 he left the estate to his son, Charles Boreham Warner who took a relaxed attitude towards any further developments, however when Charles died in 1869 the management passed to Robert Warner which proved a major boost to Walton’s economy. Before coming to Walton the Warner family owned and ran a large iron foundry in London, after purchasing land that backed onto Walton Hall estate, he built a second, this time in Walton.

The Foundry was the main source of employment in the town in the late 19th and early 20th centuries with between 150 and 300 people working there. They made everything from iron seats, portable cooking boilers and wind powered pumps. As well as this they produced material for the Indian Railways and were bell-founders for Queen Victoria, King Edward VII and King George V.

After Robert’s death in 1896 the ownership of the Foundry passed to other family members. Gradually production declined and the grand Foundry was sold in 1921.

Production continued, albeit, in a smaller way, until the eventual closure in the 1960’s.

  • When you reach The Foundry take the grassy Public Footpath on your left as opposed to the gravel driveway.
  • You will come out of the footpath on Naze Park Road.

last updated: 11/04/2008 at 14:09
created: 19/07/2005

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