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Charles Lloyd established the Bersham Ironworks in 1715 and by the 1750s they were producing iron cannons. Isaac Wilkinson took over the works in 1753 and began producing iron cannon for the Seven-Years War. John Wilkinson took over in 1763 and, in partnership with Francis Bacon, developed a new method of gun manufacture whereby the guns were cast solid and bored out later.
A water-powered borer was in use by 1775, and a steam-powered mill by 1779. At the same time John began producing steam engine cylinders for James Watt. Bersham increased in size and reached its peak in 1795. The establishment of Brymbo ironworks nearby and John's death in 1808 caused a decline and the works were sold in 1812.
The site is a museum but only open during the summer months. Current remains include the octagonal cannon foundry and adjacent fettling shop, a boring mill, lengths of wooden railway, furnace, two weirs and accounts house.

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