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In the first half of the eighteenth century significant developments in the production of iron and steel took place in the Forest of Dean, the work of father and son metallurgists, David and Robert Mushet.
Local artist Tom Cousins has celebrated these early industrialists with a mural on a blank wall in Coleford close to their former home.
David Mushet, a Scot, came to Coleford in 1810 to manage the new Whitecliff furnace shown on the right of the mural. David soon established his own iron works at nearby Dark Hill and perfected the production of high quality malleable iron. Robert Mushet took over the works from his father and developed self-hardening steel needed for machine tools, durable railway lines and improving the Bessemer process to make it economically viable. Unfortunately, Robert Mushet’s business skills were not so good as his engineering and it is Henry Bessemer that most people remember.