Henry Cort: researched over an eight-year period, this site contains the most reliable and up-to-date information on the British inventor.Please email site controller Eric Alexander with any comments or queries.


Who was Henry Cort?


Cort's ironmaking processes were key to the great expansion of the industry in the early nineteenth century, thus providing an essential ingredient for the railways, bridges and machinery of the industrial revolution.


Cort's story also has a controversial element, because of allegations that his downfall resulted from a conspiracy involving Government ministers.One purpose of this website (modified September 2008 after the crucial evidence was discovered) is to dispel this myth.


Past attempts to discover more about Cort's life have been hampered by difficulties in gaining access to the evidence.This task is much easier now that many archive catalogues are computerised.It nevertheless requires information from a wide variety of sources.Winchester, Aberystwyth and Edinburgh are among places visited to get the information on this website, although a large proportion has been found at the National Archives.



Development of website


The site was launched on 29th July 2006 (150th anniversary of a Times leader describing Cort as "father of the iron trade"), and pages have been added periodically to cover a wide spectrum of background events and attitudes, as well as the essentials of the Cort story.


Details of development and visitor monitoring are covered on other pages.

Pages of immediate interest


Life of Henry Cort

The British iron industry

Henry Cortís naval interests

Cortís base in Gosport

Historical background



Links to other sites


National sites

Newcomen Society

Institution of Civil Engineers

Institution of Mechanical Engineers

Royal Society of Arts

Institute of Materials

Association for Industrial Archaeology

Historical Metallurgy Society

Ironbridge Gorge Museum

Library houses Mott collection

British Artist Blacksmiths Association


Local sites

Fareham Borough Council

Commemorated Cort, 2000

Henry Cort Community College, Fareham

Hampshire Industrial Archaeological Society

Titchfield History Society

Gosport local information

Broseley Local History Society

Information on Shropshire ironmasters

Industrial figures, Sheffield area