Foundry Lane bounds Freemantle on the west side and is named from an iron foundry set up in the first decade of the 19th century. The foundry was situated on land between the modern day Lakelands Drive, Somerset Terrace and 5-47 Foundry Lane and was probably established on the site of an earlier corn mill. It was first mentioned in John Bullar’s guide book of 1809, although it is uncertain who was operating the foundry at that date. By 1818 had been acquired by the brothers Charles and Henry Tickell who had apparently taken over from a man named Plunkett. The Tickell tenure was short but notable for the production of the ‘Gas Column’ erected as a tribute to William Chamberlayne in gratitude for his gift of iron columns supporting the town’s first gas lights. The Gas Column, which has been sited at various places over the years, now stands in Houndwell Park. In 1831 the foundry was bought by the partnership of Ogle and Summers, forerunners (after numerous partnership changes) of the famous Day, Summers & Co. engineers and shipbuilders. Problems with launching ships - they had to be dragged from the works across Millbrook Road to the shore - led to the firm re-locating to Northam in c.1840. The Millbrook foundry closed down in 1854, while Day, Summers & Co. continued to prosper at its new site.

Further reading:

More Stories of Southampton Streets, by A. G. K. Leonard, p137-144. (HS/h)
‘A trip Down Foundry Lane’, by B. A. Thomas in Essays on the History of Southampton, p71-72. (HS/h)


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