Important Message

Dear Customer,

After 123 years of trading, Charles Butcher and Co Ltd, and its operating company, Durham Foundry (Sheffield) Ltd, are ceasing trading. This has not been an easy decision but the board believes that it is the right time to do so and is in the best interests of the shareholders. This is a planned closure and the companies are wholly solvent.

Current orders will be honoured but we will be unable, unless specifically agreed, to take on any new work.

To enable the closure to happen as smoothly as possible, we have entered into an agreement to try and transfer work to Canlin Castings Ltd. They are a similar foundry to Durham Foundry offering the same range of material grades, quantities and weights. Their details are:-

Canlin Castings Ltd,
North Street,
Langley Mill,
NG16 4DF

Tel: 01773 715412

The contact there, to discuss how work may be transferred, is David Carlin who can be contacted at

If you wish to discuss anything regarding the closure, please contact me on 0114 249 4977 or email me at

Mike Naylor
Chairman and Managing Director
Charles Butcher and Co Ltd and Durham Foundry (Sheffield) Ltd

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A Bit More History

One of the first posts I did on this blog was about an ancient landmark in the hills above Sheffield, Stannage Pole. The link to that post is here. These sorts of projects are always interesting but they don’t come around too often. A year or so ago, we got the opportunity to be involved with another restoration project, this time in the spectacular scenery of The Lake District.

Although tourism and agriculture underpin the economy of The Lake District, the area has an industrial heritage. One of these industries was copper mining. A brief history of it can be found here. As with a lot of ancient industries, the power to operate them came from water. If you’d looked at the various mills and processing plants that made up the Coniston Copper Mines, you’d have seen water wheels dotted about the landscape. As the mines closed, these wheels fell in disrepair and rotted away.

Fortunately, in conjunction with English Heritage, one of them has been rebuilt and we were lucky enough to be chosen to supply the cast iron hubs and rim sections. 

To start with, a couple of pictures of the stunning scenery that this project is taking place in. 


If you look very carefully, you can just see the water wheel in the middle of the pictures by the side of the stone cottage. Looks quite small, doesn’t it. It’s not really, the wheel being over 10m in diameter. The next pictures gives a much better idea of the size.


Finally, a few images of what it took to make the castings, two centre hubs and twenty six rim sections in grey iron which all went together without the need to drill or machine any fixing positions or boltholes which says something about the skill of the pattern maker who made the patterns.



There’s an article here about the project and I’ve no doubt that the new wheel will be a feature of the landscape around Coniston for many years to come.

Finally, the musical reference that seems to accompany these posts. I must admit, songs about water wheels and copper mines are a bit thin on the ground so I’ve gone for this instead which showcases the beautiful landscape that this wheel sits in. Click here for a tour of the land.

If you’d like to know more about Durham Foundry you can follow us on various social media platforms or sign up to our free casting guide. Links to all of these are on our websites, the main one being Durham Foundry

Mike Naylor