Clinker manufacture operational: 1869-1935
Approximate total clinker production: 270,000 tonnes
Raw materials: Blue Lias Limestone (Blue Lias Formation, Barnstone Member: 197-200 Ma) by tramway from drift mine at 459600,316200 in Sileby parish. From the 1920s, Blue Lias limestone (Blue Lias Formation: 190-200 Ma) was brought by rail (40 km) from Kilby Bridge, Wigston Magna, (SP)461200,297200.
Ownership: John Ellis and Sons Ltd
Primarily a hydraulic lime plant, production of cement began in 1869 with perhaps two small dry process bottle kilns, output 30 t/week, although this product may not have been Portland cement in the strict sense. In 1883, Spackman installed kilns with his patent drying chambers, and proper Portland cement was certainly made. Stone from selected chemically-tested floors was finely dry-ground, then briquetted. There were six kilns, producing 120 t/week according to Davis, and this continued until closure. The product was used entirely on site in concrete products made with Mountsorrel granite, and in the production of coloured “cement paint”. The original John Ellis was a collaborator of Robert Stephenson on the Midland Railway, and he and his successors were directors of the railway: much use was made of it for raw materials and for shipping concrete products into London. Lime production continued until 1925, using six (but originally many more) bottle kilns. The Ketton company seems to have persuaded the company to cease manufacture. The concrete plant continued, using Ketton cement, after the kilns stopped, and was eventually bought out by Redlands. Their successors, Lafarge, still own the site, which is connected by a long conveyor to the Mountsorrel granite quarry, and ships the stone out by rail.
No rotary kilns were installed.
© Dylan Moore 2011: commenced 14/03/2011: last edit 26/02/2017.
Approximate capacity: tonnes per year
Britain from Above features some of the oldest and most valuable images of the Aerofilms Collection, a unique and important archive of aerial photographs. You can download images, share memories, and add information. By the end of the project in 2014, 95,000 images taken between 1919 and 1953 will be available online.
This was taken in July 1923 and shows the plant from the southeast. The view is dominated by the vast stocks of pre-cast pipe that were at this time the main product of the plant, absorbing all the cement produced. View in High Definition.