The Anstice Family

The Anstice family played an important role in the life and prosperity of Madeley throughout the 19th century.

Photograph taken outside Madeley Wood Hall, the home of the Anstice Family, in 1912. [1982.1194]

The Anstice family’s association with Blists Hill began in the late 18th century when William Anstice (1781 - 1850) moved to the area. William began working with his uncle William Reynolds (1758 - 1803), the owner of the Madeley Wood Company. They worked together until Reynolds' death, after which William Anstice took full ownership of the Madeley Wood Company. He went on to establish the blast furnaces and brickworks at Blists Hill, as well as several more mines in the Madeley area. At its peak the company employed about one thousand people. When William died in 1850, his son John Anstice (1810 - 1867) took ownership of the company.

As well as being industrialists, the Anstice family were important local philanthropists. They were responsible for building a school and mission room at The Lloyds in 1852, and were known to pay the funeral expenses of their employees who died while at work. John Anstice was well respected by his workers, and following his death in 1867 a memorial fund was established in his name. This fund, along with money donated by the Anstice family, paid for the building of the Anstice Memorial Hall in Madeley. The Hall was opened in 1870 and became a place for entertainment, education and socialising for local people.

Following John Anstice’s death, his sons John and Richard, along with his brother William, took over the management of the company.  William died in 1881 and his nephews continued the business until 1918, when they sold the company.

Portrait of John Anstice, unknown date. [2012.569.5]