Monks Hall and Company

Dates: 1874 to 1986

Location: Atherton’s Quay, Warrington

Specialities: iron and steel bars, wire rods, strips, light rails, rivets and mattresses

Monks Hall and Company was founded by Frederick Monks and his brother in law William Hall in 1874, initially trading as Frederick Monks and Company. Frederick Monks had founded Monks of Whitecross 10 years earlier in 1864 but had left when he found it conflicted with his principles and subsequently Monks of Whitecross went on to become the Whitecross Company, one of Warrington’s principle wire manufacturers.

Frederick Monks still had a role to play in the Warrington wire industry however, as in 1878 Monks Hall and Company was registered as a public company which manufactured wire rods for turning into wire, as well as iron and steel bars and hoops.

By the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 Monks Hall and Company had been reconstructed and enlarged employing 1,200 workers. Its range of products had expanded to include steel ingots, tube strips, tubes, rivets, bedsteads and mattresses.

Monks Hall and Company ironworks, late 19th century

Between the wars Monks Hall and Company joined with the Lancashire Steel Corporation to purchase William Robertson of Latchford who manufactured bright drawn steel products including wire.

In 1951 Monks Hall and Company were nationalised under the Iron and Steel Act, becoming part of the Iron and Steel Corporation of Great Britain.

Unfortunately the changing world economic climate of the 1980s led to the closure of most of Warrington’s heavy industry with the town’s wire, iron and steel production hardest hit. The last billet of steel was rolled out of Number 4 Mill at Monks Hall in March 1986.

This article was written for the Wire Works Project 2020-2021, a National Lottery Heritage funded project aiming to highlight and celebrate the legacy left by the wire industry, which dominated Warrington’s employment structure for over 170 years, putting the town at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution.