Clinker manufacture operational: 1888-1917
Approximate total clinker production: 46,000 tonnes
Raw materials: Blue Lias limestone (Porthkerry Member: 190-200 Ma) from the foreshore and cliffs at 304300,165900, and subsequently from quarry at Llancadle (303100,167800).
Aberthaw had a centuries-long history of production of hydraulic lime. In the period before 1888, there were only a few small lime kilns in the area between Aberthaw and Rhoose, and it is likely that most of the historical lime was produced on the foreshore, where the stone is readily obtained. The industrial scale plant probably only got under way in late 1892, with the completion of the Cowbridge-Aberthaw railway, which allowed stone to be brought from quarries inland. As with other Blue Lias plants, early claims to have made Portland cement are debatable, and it is extremely questionable whether this plant ever made the product. In view of the fact that it was owned by J. S. Rigby, who was involved in promoting slag cements, it may be that it produced a blend of hydraulic lime and slag, at least until the publication of the British Standard for Portland cement. However, Davis included it in his list of 1907 manufacturers, with an output of 60 tons per week. It had two bottle kilns. The plant's development was predicated on an expectation that a Port of Aberthaw would be constructed, and it used the Taff Vale railway for shipping and supplies. However, the port was upstaged by the development of Barry. Its activities petered out during WWI due to lack of manpower, and it was never revived. The kiln structure is still in place.
No rotary kilns were installed.
Sources: Francis, p 217
© Dylan Moore 2011: commenced last 27/02/2011: edit 22/02/2017.
Approximate capacity: tonnes per year
Picture: ©Mick Lobb 2011, and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence. See this and related images on Geograph. This shows the remains of the plant in 2011, viewed from the southwest.