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Mar 14

James Bartle’s Western Iron Works

1150James Bartle was born in Camborne, Cornwall in 1826 and the 1851 census shows him working in Islington.

In 1854 he founded the iron foundry at at 236A Lancaster Road. It made coachwork and iron castings including manhole covers, lamp posts and railings. A great speciality for years was the complete equipment of gasworks plant, including in a number of cases the gasometers. Another feature of the foundry’s work was cast-iron bridges, numbers of which were erected over London canals, including that over the “cut” at Ladbroke Grove. Members of the Bartle family lived at 3 Rillington Place.

By 1881 James Bartle was employing 62 men and 13 boys. He was a leading figure in the community and was made a Freeman by Kensington Vestry. Bartle died aged 70 at Camborne House, 236 Ladbroke Road in 1896 and the business was sold in 1910 to C S Windsor.

The new owner not only continued to produce cast iron products but also developed and manufactured the Windsor Light car, which was launched at the 1923 Motor Show. Following Windsor’s death, Bartle’s was forced into liquidation in 1927.

The Iron Foundry site then became the Royal Borough of Kensington (later the RBKC) Department of Works until that Council decided to redevelop the whole area in 1971.

In 1976, the factory was demolished and in 1981 the works were commemorated in the naming of Bartle Road.

3Location of the Bartle Iron Works on a 1900 map

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