Soho Foundry
Soho Foundry was a factory created in 1795 by Matthew Boulton and James Watt at Smethwick, West Midlands, England ( grid reference SP037885 ), for the manufacture of steam engines.

The factory was built on the edge of the Birmingham Canal on land bought in 1795. The following year the foundry was open. By 1840 James Watt Junior owned the factory after the death of the founding Boulton and Watt. He died in 1848 and his place was taken by H. W. Blake and the name changed from Soho Foundry to James Watt & Co.. In 1857 the screw engines for the steamship SS Great Eastern were built at the foundry. In 1860 a new mint was started at the Foundry, the Manufactory having closed in 1850. In 1861 tests were performed at the Soho Foundry for the London Pneumatic Despatch Company. In 1895 W & T Avery Ltd. acquired the Foundry as a going concern.

It is now the home of Avery Weigh-Tronix (formerly Avery Berkel), who make weighing scales. The site includes William Murdoch's cottage and overlooks Black Patch Park. There is a small museum there, open only by appointment. The grade II listed Pooley gates, of cast iron, are marked with "a Liver bird above ropework draped with cloth, flanked by nautical symbols including oars, flags and bugles, ships' wheels and intersecting dolphins". A plaque reads: "These gates were cast by Henry Pooley and Son about 1840 for the Sailors' Home, Liverpool. (See " Liverpool Sailors' Home"). The Avery and Pooley Foundries were amalgamated in 1931". There is an active campaign to return these gates to Liverpool. The building is a Grade II* listed building. The gates and adjacent canal bridge are Grade II listed. The oldest working steam engine, built here, is the Smethwick Engine built to recover water used in the nearby canal locks at Smethwick Summit, and now in the Thinktank museum.


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