Cement Kilns



  • Grid reference: NT37596891
  • x=337590
  • y=668890
  • 55°54'33"N; 2°59'54"W
  • Civil Parish: Cranston, Midlothian

Clinker manufacture operational: 5/1904-1924

Approximate total clinker production: 135,000 tonnes

Raw materials:

  • Carboniferous Limestone (Blackhall Limestone: 326-331 Ma) from quarry at 337600,668200. There was also a drift mine.
  • Underlying shale and (later) colliery waste; there were six collieries within 3 km.


  • 1904-1911 Caledonian Portland Cement Co. Ltd
  • 1911-1924 BPCM (Blue Circle)

Alternatively called Caledonian Works. The plant had four Schneider kilns, and design by Maxted. The plant was described in a newspaper article shortly after starting. Davis puts the 1907 capacity at 400 t/week: this is a sensible capacity for four Schneider kilns, but it seems never to achieved its declared rating of 2-300 t/week, although Maxted said it was making 300 t/week in 1908. It probably ran seasonally. Jackson quotes a heat consumption of 9.8 MJ/kg, which is absurdly high for Schneider kilns (it's probably the whole plant fuel consumption, including power generation). The plant was one of the highest-cost in BPCM, probably due to raw material getting costs. The plant was on one of the network of railways that served the Midlothian coalfield, and this allowed transportation into Edinburgh (17 km). By 1924, the slag-based plants in Lanarkshire must have been making much cheaper cement in quantity, and the plant closed. The site remained active for some time making lime, but has now been cleared.

No rotary kilns were installed:

Sources: Francis, p 265: Jackson, pp 274, 277, 279: Pugh, p 51: John Dickson, Cranstoun – a parish history, 1906: newspaper article.

© Dylan Moore 2011: commenced 19/01/2011: last edit 26/02/2017.

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Approximate capacity: tonnes per year
Cousland clinker capacity