Bottisham Lode

Location:

  • Grid reference: TL5304762576
  • x=553047
  • y=262576
  • 52°14'24"N; 0°14'30"E
  • Civil Parish: Bottisham, Cambridgeshire

Clinker manufacture operational: 1896-1903, 1908-1920

Approximate total clinker production: 15,000 tonnes

Raw materials: Chalk Marl (West Melbury Marly Chalk Formation: 97-100 Ma) from pit at 553060,262500

Ownership: Bottisham Lode Mill Cement Co.

The plant started out with four small bottle kilns (capacity 40 t/week). The old water-powered corn mill, with four wheels, was converted to do the grinding. It may have ground "coprolite" during the boom of the 1860s, and coprolite was dug in the area. It continued until forced out of business by foreign imports in 1903. Davis' 1907 list included it, with a zero capacity. It re-started around 1908, with two more kilns of the same size (total capacity 60 t/week), and continued in business, more or less, until 1920, when it was abandoned. The kilns burned as-dug material, and so produced a cement that scarcely rated as Portland. The size of the pit indicates that it produced about 15,000 tonnes of cement in its life – around 30% of capacity. The ancient Lode was not navigable, and road transport must have been used to reach the railway station 400 m away. The whole site has now been landscaped into the Anglesey Abbey estate. The flooded quarry pit, which did not exist before 1896, was described in the Abbey website as “a prehistoric coprolite mine”.

No rotary kilns were installed.


Sources: Francis, p 208-209