The business was established in 1800 as a partnership between the Parkinson family and the Spencer family. Caleb Spencer (1766-1847) is credited as its founder and early activities involved the two families mining stone and fireclay to support their traditional farming activities. The refractoriness of the local fireclay led to the manufacture of firebricks and its purity found particular application in the early glass melting industry.
In 1921 the business was incorporated as a limited liability company, establishing the framework for investment in the kilns, plant and machinery required for the industrial manufacture of refractories.
In 1970 the company was awarded the licence from Emhart Glass for the manufacture of feeder expendable refractories to Emhart design.
In 1976 the original name of Parkinson & Spencer Ltd, Ambler Thorn Fireclay Works, was changed to Parkinson-Spencer Refractories Ltd to better represent the modern nature of the business.
In 1992 the company commenced the design and manufacture of its System 5oo forehearth and distributor systems, changing the direction of the company from being solely dependent upon refractory manufacture to encompassing engineering as well.
In 2000 we celebrated 200 years of service to the glass industry.
Today we sell our products to more than 60 countries with exports accounting for more than 90% of sales revenue.