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Report - Shot tower & lead works, Chester

Discussion in 'Industrial Sites' started by Lister, May 9, 2007.

  1. Lister

    Lister 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    Having an hour to kill in Chester after dropping the little fella off at a Laser Quest party I couldent think of a better place to visit.
    Walkers, Parker and Co built their leadworks alongside the canal in Chester in the 1790's erecting the lead shot tower in 1799. It is the oldest of the 3 remaining shot towers in the UK and at 168 feet high is the tallest structre in the city. An early use for the tower was to provide lead shot for muskets during the Napolionic war (Yeah, thats how old it is).
    The tower itself is grade II listed but the surrounding buildings are being demolished/converted into appartments so get in there quick.

    HOw it works:-
    In 1783, one William Watts of Bristol (a plumber) took out a patent for his new technique, a process "for making smallshot perfectly globular in form and without dimples, notches and imperfections which other shot hereto manufactured usually have on their surface".
    Watt's technique, as carried out here in Chester, was to allow molten lead- to which the deadly poison arsenic was added- to be poured from the top of the tower, passing through a griddle to separate it into tiny pellets before landing in a wooden vat of water below.

    This place is just brilliant, a real eye opener, thanks to Dweeb & Turkey for the origional post.

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    Looking down the lift shaft
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    Smeltng ladder!
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    #1 Lister, May 9, 2007
    Last edited: May 9, 2007

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