Kingswood Heritage Museum

William Champion’s Zinc and Brass Works was, in the 18th century, probably the largest industrial site in Europe. Interpretation of the site can be seen in a dedicated gallery.

Here are models of a zinc foundry and workers’ housing alongside explanations of the zinc and brass making processes. William Champion invented and patented a method of producing zinc from calamine (zinc bearing ore).

His methods enabled him to produce a much higher quality brass than his rivals. He prospered until his patent ran out, then his rivals started to use his processes and he went bankrupt.