Abraham Darby was the first and most well-known of a family of Quaker industrialists who played an important role in the Industrial Revolution. He developed a method of producing high-grade iron in a blast furnace powered by coke rather than charcoal, which dramatically lowered the price of production of iron as a raw material for the Industrial Revolution.
In 1709, Darby moved to Madeley to revive the ironworks at Coalbrookdale. There had been a blast furnace there since 1638 using charcoal as fuel, but it had been damaged in an explosion and never repaired. Darby took the lease of the furnace, repaired and altered it to his new specifications, and rented and occupied the house at nearby Madeley Court.