This W4 type locomotive was built in 1903 by Peckett & Sons as one of a pair supplied to the Ebbw Vale Steelworks owned by the Ebbw Vale Steel, Iron and Coal Co (EVSIC Co.) in 1904.
The EVSIC Co ran into financial difficulties and in 1935, William Firth, then Chairman of Richard Thomas Co negotiated the purchase of the Steel Interests of the EVSIC Co and built a brand new Steelworks, using the new Continuous Rolling technology brought in from USA, the first such plant in Europe.
Richard Thomas and Co had been formed in 1884 and included interests in Lincolnshire including the Irthingborough Ore Fields. Baldwins was created several years later in 1902. The two merged in 1945, creating one of the largest companies in the country at the time, with a workforce of more than 25,000 employees. Richard Thomas and Baldwins was nationalised in 1951 under the Iron and Steel Act and became part of the Iron and Steel Corporation of Great Britain. From 1953 onwards the steel industry was de-nationalised and by 1963 Richard Thomas and Baldwins was the only remaining nationalised steel company.
The locomotive carries the name Henry Cort in honour of the English ironmaster who began refining iron from pig iron to wrought or bar iron using innovative production systems during the Industrial Revolution. In 1783-4 he patented the puddling process for refining cast iron.
In 1954 the locomotive was moved by its owners Richard Thomas & Baldwins to their Blisworth ironstone quarry.
It then moved to Irthlingborough Quarry in July 1957. When the quarries closed in September 1965, the owners offered it to the Foxfield Railway.
The locomotive moved to the Foxfield Railway in February 1967 where it became the first locomotive to move on the line under preservation.
It is now on static display in the Museum building awaiting overhaul.