From 1798 the Cranstone family, who were Quakers, established a steam driven foundry in the Old High Street, providing ironware such as the original gas works, the fire engine and the water pump at the end of the High Street. At one time the foundry was set up in the old Quaker Meeting House.
In the 20th century the business expanded rapidly and the Hemel Hempstead Engineering Company was formed and specialised in fine engineering, moving to Cupid Green.
These two furnaces could have been seen on the skyline on Redbourn Road.
The foundry used Godwin's Siding to bring in pig iron for the castings. There were machine shops and labs as well as the foundry.
Working in the foundry was hot and the dust and ash affected the workers lungs.
The flames of the foundry could be seen across Grovehill.