Treadgolds, Ironmongers of Portsea, was established in 1809 and traded until 1988. It was opened as a museum in 1995, and brings to life a unique piece of social and industrial history. The business still contains machinery, tools and much of the stock used throughout the period.
The premises are acclaimed as a Victorian time capsule, retaining a Dickensian feel with its dark shop full of nuts & bolts and fascinating tools & fittings.
The Treadgold story really begins with the marriage in 1781 of William Treadgold, ironmonger, and Margaret Jones, the sister of John Jones, blacksmith. The two families were jointly involved in various business ventures.
In 1809, John Jones and William Treadgold's son, also William, set up a business partnership and advertised their intention to trade as ironmongers and smiths from premises at 39 Queen Street and 50 Bishop Street. Jones and Treadgold sold equipment, tools and metal supplies to craftsmen such as smiths, shipwrights, wheelwrights and coopers.
They sold horseshoe nails and horseshoe moulds to farmers; ridge stays to builders; and spades, hoes, shovel handles, scythes to farmers. Domestic items such as locks & keys, frying pans & bottlejacks and kitchen ranges were not only sold but also repaired.
Customers were mostly from Portsea Island but there were also several regular customers on the Isle of Wight and occasional customers from Southampton, Petersfield and Wickham. In 1815, John Jones retired and William Treadgold bought his share of the business. Believed to be John Treadgold c1860
The business was run by members of the family until 1882 when the last William Treadgold died. From then it was run by a manager appointed by his widow. Following her death in 1901 Treadgold, Ironmongers of Portsea, became a limited company with the six Treadgold children as major shareholders.