Cement Kilns

Cliffe Quarry


  • Grid reference: TQ72637640
  • x=572630
  • y=176400
  • 51°27'37"N; 0°29'6"E
  • Civil Parish: Cliffe, Kent

Clinker manufacture operational: 1874-1914, 1919-1921

Approximate total clinker production: 1,170,000 tonnes

Raw materials:

  • Upper Chalk (Seaford Chalk Formation: 85-88 Ma) from nearby quarry at 572600,176300
  • Alluvial Clay from pits at 572000,176900


  • 1874-1886 I. C. Johnson and Co. Ltd
  • 1886-1900 Francis and Co. Ltd
  • 1900-1921 APCM (Blue Circle)

The plant was built to replace the Cliffe Creek site, which Johnson sold to Empson, Holcombe and Co. There were sixteen chamber kilns (460 t/week). During the period 1874-1886, a total of nine Michele chamber kilns (210 t/week) were built in the south part of the site, which was owned by Francis. After the rest of the plant was purchased by Francis, a further six kilns (170 t/week) were added to the northern block in 1898, bringing the final capacity to 840 t/week. The rating in 1920 was 700 t/week, presumably because only one block of Michele kilns was used. After closure, the whiting plant, on the creek opposite the old works, continued in operation. There was no rail link, and all product was shipped from the pier on the creek. The cement plant itself was abandoned after closure. Part of it was built over by an oil depot, but the northern chamber kiln block remains intact, and there is some move to preserve it.

No rotary kilns were installed.

Sources: Eve, p 21: Francis, p 173: F. H. Lewis, The European Cement Industry, Engineering Record, 1899, pp 12-13: J. M. Preston, Cliffe Industrial Landscape, unpublished, date?

© Dylan Moore 2011: commenced 25/01/2011: last edit 28/02/2017.

Return to plant list

Old Maps

Approximate capacity: tonnes per year
Cliffe Quarry clinker capacity