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Marshall's - The Britannia Iron Works

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Britannia iron worksEarly Marshalls machineryThe war yearsTea machineryMarshall's in India

This famous engineering works was founded in Gainsborough in 1848 by William Marshall, a millwright. Purchasing the millwright business of William Garland in 1855, by the end of 1885 the works encompassed a 16 acre site. The Britannia Works comprised 11.5 acres of building - constructed with bricks made on site - and employed1,900 men. Portable steam engines, threshing machines and agricultural machinery was exported from Marshall's all over the world.

In 1861 William Marshall died and the firm was taken over by his sons, James and Henry.

The First World War (1914 - 1918) saw the decline of many of Marshall's traditional markets (although during the War the works employed 5,000 men in the manufacture of munitions). However, by the 1920s the firm was in the forefront of internal combustion engine tractor and stationary oil engine design in England.

In the years after the war, Marshall's declined as a company, but in March 1936 an entirely new company, named Marshall, Sons & Company (Successors) Ltd. was formed. Initially, the new company was involved in the production of tractors, road rollers and the like, but it was during the Second World War that Marshall's became involved in the manufacture of the midget submarine.

Boilers for industry and the RAF,agricultural machinery and machinery for road building and maintainence were the mainstay of Marshall's up to its closure. The site is now occupied by Marshall's Yard, a large shopping complex.