Park gates by Coalbrookdale Company, Kensington Gardens, London, 2003.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
After they were exhibited at the Great Exhibition, 1851, these cast iron gates were re-erected at the entrance to Kensington Gardens, London, where they remain. The Coalbrookdale Company was founded by Abraham Darby in 1707, and managed by members of the Darby family until 1849. The company is best known for the building of the world's first cast iron bridge, acros the Severn at Ironbridge, Shropshire, which was completed in 1781. The Great Exhibition, held in the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park in May-October 1851 was conceived by Prince Albert (1819-1861) to showcase Britain's technological achievements and demonstrate its industrial and economic superiority to the rest of the world.