Although the Schalchs had a house in the facility, it was small and had become run down by 1770, so this house was built in 1772 and 1773 at government expense for the Verbruggens, Jan and his son Pieter who along with two daughters immigrated from the Netherlands in 1770. Jan had been the Dutch Master Gunfounder but had lost favor due to questions of quality - which in all likelihood were actually problems with one or two people that became part of a larger political struggle. He therefore accepted the job at Woolwich heading the foundry along with his son, and they vastly improved the neglected facility. They increasing quality and improved the technology of British cannon manufacture. Specifically, they introduced horizontal cannon boring machines similar to those used in Continental Europe.
Back to Woolwich