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Robert Stephenson & Co works
South Street, off Forth Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
Robert Stephenson & Co works
associated engineer
George Stephenson
Robert Stephenson
date  23rd June 1823
UK era  Georgian  |  category  Factory/Industrial Plant  |  reference  NZ246637
ICE reference number  HEW 990
photo  Jane Joyce
Stephenson's Works off Forth Street close by Newcastle Central Station, were established on 23rd June 1823. This is the world's first factory to be built specifically for the construction of locomotives. It was run by Robert Stephenson (1803-59) from 1823-4 and 1827-33 and subsequently by his cousin, George Robert Stephenson.
Robert Stephenson's father, George Stephenson (1781-1848), brought us the steam-locomotive driven public railway. His first locomotives were constructed at West Moor Colliery workshop, just outside Newcastle. It was realised that opening a purpose-built factory would enable a higher standard of workmanship, so George set about founding such a factory. He did so in partnership Robert and with businessman Edward Pease (1767-1858) of Darlington and Michael Longridge (1785-1858) of Bedlington Ironworks.
Many famous locomotives were developed and built on this site, including Locomotion No.1 (1825) and Rocket (1829), and later Northumbrian, Planet, Patentee and Atlas. Stephenson's link motion was also invented here, by William Williams and William Howe, and is named after the works, rather than the engineer.
The administrative building (on the right in the picture), boiler manufactory and one bay of the original locomotive erecting shop remain, on the western side of South Street. The facory buildings are of red brick. The locomotive shop bay shows a crude lattice of cast-iron and wooden columns, supporting wooden beams. It is located at the western end of the site.
The boiler manufactory is more complete: six bays long and three bays wide. Inside, two lines of cast-iron columns with simple arched bracing subdivide the space. External light is provided by narrow, round-headed windows.
The office building is a simple brick structure, two storeys high. This building is now occupied by the Robert Stephenson Trust, which runs the complex.
The works were expanded several times during the 19th century.
Research: JJ
reference sources   IndEngVicEng

Robert Stephenson & Co works