Wolverhampton's Locally Listed Buildings

The Crown Nail Company's Office Building

48 Commercial Road

Listing:  Locally listed 12th July 2005. The only surviving mid 19th century factory building from the old commercial heart of the City and one of the few industrial buildings that have survived from that era.

Comment:  The Commercial Road works were in an area that grew up in the middle of the 19th century around one of the town’s main arteries; the Birmingham Canal Navigation, which opened in 1772. In the 1850s Wolverhampton was greatly expanding due to the large number of factories that were opening in the area and offering employment. At this time the town was at the centre of the local iron trade and the canal was an essential part of its commercial life.

Wharfs were built to allow the loading and unloading of all kinds of products and the area rapidly developed. 

Commercial Wharf opened in about 1802, and along with Waterloo Wharf was accessed via Navigation Street. Commercial Road wasn’t built until about 1850. In fact the Crown Nail Company’s building, dating from around 1850, must have been one of the first permanent buildings in Commercial Road.  

Little is known about the Crown Nail Company’s early years. It was established in about 1850, the same date as the oldest building on the site, which was presumably purpose built for the company.

In its heyday Crown Nail exported tacks and nails throughout the world and were the last tack manufacturer in the country. Production ceased on 23rd December, 2004.

The top floor showing the almost original interior.

The old steel shop at the rear showing the original timbers supported by cast-iron pillars.
Read about the company

The building is built in brick with some external decoration. There is some decorative brickwork and stone stringing.

The upper floor windows are original but the middle floor windows have been replaced at some time. Internally the building has changed little.

The top floor was used as a storeroom and still has the original stairs. The building also has the original roof timbers and the internal supporting iron pillars. The middle floor housed the company’s packing department and has changed little except for a modern suspended ceiling. The lower floor (partly below street level) was used as a storeroom although originally it was probably part of the factory. The company office is the single storey extension on the left and a modern garage has been added on the right-hand side.