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What's in a name?

Inspired by Thames Ditton's past

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The Thames Ditton Bronze Foundry is believed to have been built on the site of an historic "melting house" beside the River Thames.

 

The foundry was established in Summer Road, Thames Ditton, in 1874 by Cox & Sons, a large firm of ecclesiastical furnishing suppliers, to cast ornaments and statues in bronze.  A hand-operated gantry crane, which moved the entire foundry floor to facilitate all major lifting work, was an integral part of the building constructed for this work.  During its heyday it produced numerous major statues and monuments as one of the world's leading firms of bronze founders.

Thames Ditton Bronze Foundry operated from 1874 to 1939 and under various owners produced numerous major statues and monuments as one of the United Kingdom's leading firms of bronze founders.  

 

A series of important commissions were undertaken and included Oliver Cromwell (1899, outside the House of Commons), Dr. Livingstone (1879, Glasgow) and Captain Cook (1878, Sydney, Australia).  Possibly its greatest monument was the giant ‘Peace Quadriga’ statue atop the arch at Hyde Park Corner (1912), which was a memorial to King Edward VII.  At 9.75 metres high and weighing 38.6 tonnes, it was the largest sculpture cast in the country.

The 'Peace Quadriga' was the influence behind our logo, and you'll see a print of the quadric above one of the fireplaces.

The Thames Ditton Bronze Foundry was owned by: Cox & Sons (1874–80), Drew & Co. (1880–82), Moore & Co. (1882–97), Hollinshead & Burton (1897–1902) and A. B. Burton (1902–39).  During the First World War the foundry adapted to the manufacture of aero engines and brass shell cases, but after the War it responded to a huge demand for memorials to commemorate the dead, going on to produce some of its most accomplished and moving work.

At the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 the foundry was was sold by Burton's brother-in-law, who did not want to see it used for munitions manufacturing. It was subsequently used by London Metal Warehouses for making industrial castings, and then by Metal Centres Ltd, as a metal warehouse, until around 1972 when it was sold to the District Council.

 

The foundry was finally demolished in 1976.  A blue plaque today marks its location.

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