Cement Kilns

Cam Blue Lias


  • Grid reference: TL3846546895
  • x=538465
  • y=246895
  • 52°6'11"N; 0°1'18"E
  • Civil Parish: Meldreth, Cambridgeshire

Clinker manufacture operational: 1891-1934

Approximate total clinker production: 210,000 tonnes

Raw materials: Chalk Marl (West Melbury Marly Chalk Formation: 97-100 Ma) from pit at 538500,246800


  • 1891-1900? Cam Portland Cement Co.
  • 1900?- 1934 Cam Blue Lias Lime and Cement Co.

Initially bottle kilns were used with dry process on unground “cement rock” marl. Six chamber kilns were installed around 1901 for Portland cement, output 120 t/week (Davis' list). The plant was on the Great Northern railway. Remaining independent, the plant struggled on until killed off by the depression in 1934. Lime production continued spasmodically, finally ending in 1948. The plant site was abandoned, and is now waste ground, with some ruins remaining. The quarries are flooded.

The company name is an example of the inaccurate use of language used a hundred years ago. Blue Lias Lime had a reputation for high quality not shared by Cambridgeshire products, and the company name was changed to suggest a similar quality, although Blue Lias was never used as a raw material at this site. In 1900, Charles Nelson & Co (Stockton) brought an action against them on behalf of the Warwickshire Blue Lias manufacturers. The action failed, the judgement stating that “the term Lias covers a multitude of materials”. After closure, Rugby bought the company, presumably to "put a stake through its heart".

No rotary kilns were installed.

Sources: Cook, p 97: Francis, pp 208-210: Jackson, p 274

© Dylan Moore 2011: commenced 14/02/2011: last edit 02/03/2017.

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Approximate capacity: tonnes per year
Cam Blue Lias clinker capacity