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100 A.D. - Glass Making
It is commonly accepted that the Roman name for Castleford was Lagentium. It is believed that this translates as "The Place of the Bottles", from the Latin 'lagenae' (bottles or flasks).
In 1968 when houses in Welbeck Street were demolished a dig on the site located an industrial area in the 'vicus' outside the south gate of the fort. Lots of glass making paraphernalia was found confirming that glass making had occurred in the area during Roman times.

1829 - Mear Glass Bottle Works

The history of the modern Castleford glass industry dates back to 1829 when four glassblowers from Hunslet, Leeds, founded the Mear Glass Bottle Works at Whitwood Mere. In the late 1880's Castleford was reputed to be the largest bottle manufacturing centre in Britain, producing over twenty million bottles annually, mainly for export.

1834 - Aire and Calder Glass Bottle Works

Built by James Winterbottom and Dr. Adam Jessop at Ryebread, off Wheldon Lane their entire output was bought by London merchant Edgar Breffitt. In 1844 Breffitt bought the business and it was renamed Breffitts Glassworks. Edgar Breffitt was the first chairman of the Castleford Local Board of Health, the forerunner to the town council. After experiencing difficulties for three years Breffitts closed in 1926.

1845 - John Lumb

John Lumb and Company was one of three glassworks started by Lumb, Simpson, Brown, Lightfoot and Thomas and William Sykes. In 1950 one thousand people were employed on the site. As 'United Glass', manufacturing glass containers, the company closed in 1983 under a rationalisation scheme and the chimneys were demolished in 1985.

1882 - Benjamin Peacock

Benjamin Peacock and Sons Venetian Glassworks, Whitwood Mere, were listed as glass bottle manufacturers in 1882. By 1897 they employed around twenty-four men and six boys.
Peacock Workers
Peacocks Workers dated 1906.
Percy Cryer is back row third from right with tash, second from right is his brother Ernest Cryer. Ernest died 1928 of TB and Percy died in 1961 of old age.
Glass Blowing was a reserved occupation during the First World War but many of the men and boys in the photograph enlisted and survived the War,
The Peacock family lived at Acre House in Half Acres until they sold it to Doctor Bentley who used it as his home and surgery until about 1968.
At that time West Riding County Council raised a compulsory purchase order for Acre House when it was demolished and the new Castleford Fire Station built on the plot.
Photograph courtesy Thomas Perks.
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