Cement Kilns

Harbury

Harbury LogoGreaves' Brand.

Location:

  • Grid reference: SP39435863
  • x=439433
  • y=258635
  • 52°13'28"N; 1°25'22"W
  • Civil Parish: Bishop's Itchington, Warwickshire: the northern edge of the plant was in Harbury parish.

Clinker manufacture operational: 1864-1970

Approximate total clinker production: 9.7 million tonnes (40th)

Raw materials:

  • Main component: Blue Lias Limestone and clay (Rugby Limestone Member: 195-200 Ma) from 438800,258800 – mostly in Harbury parish; first hand-picked or rumbled, then used entire with addition of a high-grade sweetener.
  • Sweeteners:
    • Triassic Rhaetic limestone (Langport Member: 202-205 Ma) from the base of the Lias pit (with 10 m of Saltford Shale interburden)
    • Ditto from 437900,261300 – Harbury (4 km by road); then from 434500,256200 – Lighthorne, Warwickshire (10 km by road)
    • Great Oolite Limestone (White Limestone Formation: 165-168 Ma) from 454400,226300 - Ardley, Oxon (39 km by rail)

Ownership:

Sometimes called Greaves Works. The company had several Warwickshire Blue Lias sites, and claimed to have made “cement” as early as 1847, when Pasley mentioned it as one of only three “water cements” in production. This was clearly a pre-Portland “artificial” cement, and the manufacture of true Portland cement seems to have started a few years after the construction of the Harbury plant in 1855. They were claiming to make Portland cement from the outset, but Spackman testifies that the “true” product was first made when double burning and a wet process was adopted in 1864. The other Warwickshire plants used dry methods, for which equipment only became available in the 1870s. The main products were various grades of “Lias Cement”, and given that the plant had only two bottle kilns, probably only one was making Portland. Lias lime products remained in production: the last lime kilns ceased operation in 1939. There were four Portland kilns (120 t/week) in operation by 1882, when a set of four Johnson kilns (100 t/week) was added. Subsequent sets of five and two Johnson kilns and seven Batchelor kilns were added bringing the capacity to Davis’ 1907 figure of 600 t/week . In 1909, the first rotary kiln was installed. The chamber kilns continued in intermittent operation until the second rotary kiln was installed in ?1912. Edgar Allen installed the third rotary kiln in 1924 and also lengthened the older kilns. The Engineering article describes the installation in 1926 of slurry sprays on all three kilns: the very easy combinability of the mix probably accounts for the relative – in fact, unique – success of this technique at Harbury, but the sprays on A3 were replaced with a chain system as soon as Blue Circle took over. Kilns A1 and A2 were replaced with somewhat newer second-hand kilns, and this remained the set-up until closure.

The plant was designed for rail transport and, unlike the other Warwickshire plants, had no link to the canal system. It was on the GWR London-Birmingham main line opened three years before the plant in 1852. After shut-down of the kilns, the site remained until 1994 as a depot, then it was cleared. The site remains un-developed, with most of the foundations still visible. The quarries are partially flooded, and remain waste.

Rawmills

  • In 1909 two Krupp ball mill and tube mill sets
  • In 1924 a 335 kW Edgar Allen combination ball mill
  • Following the Blue Circle takeover, the above were replaced with four 300 kW Ernest Newell ball mills – one new, and three second-hand ex-finish mills – two from Johnsons and one from Shoreham.

Five rotary kilns were installed in two phases.

Kiln A1

Supplier: Krupp
Operated: 1909-1932
Process: Wet
Location: Hot end,: Cold end,
Dimensions: Metric

  • 1909-1924 30.00 × 2.250
  • 1924-1932 48.00 × 2.250

Rotation (viewed from firing end): ?
Slope: ?°
Speed: ?
Drive: ?
Kiln profile (est. from other Krupp kilns):

  • 1909-1924 0×2250: 30000×2250: tyres at 2750, 15000, 27250: turning gear at 17250.
  • 1924-1932 0×2250: 48000×2250: tyres at 2750, 15000, 27250, 41125: turning gear at 17250.

Cooler: rotary beneath kiln
Cooler profile: 0×: ×: ×: ×: Tyres at , ,
Fuel: Coal
Coal mill: indirect: ball mill: from 1924 direct: Clark Chapman turbo-pulverizer supplemented with Atritor
Typical Output: 1909-1924 78 t/d: 1924-26 103 t/d: 1926-1932 117 t/d
Typical Heat Consumption: 1909-1924 8.33 MJ/kg: 1924-1926 7.63 MJ/kg: 1926-1932 6.75 MJ/kg


Kiln A2

Supplier: Ernest Newell
Operated: 1912-1936
Process: Wet
Location: Hot end,: Cold end,
Dimensions:

  • 1912-1924 120’0” × 8’0” (metric 36.58×2.438)
  • 1924-1936 160’0” × 8’0” (metric 48.77×2.438)

Rotation (viewed from firing end): ?
Slope: ?°
Speed: ?
Drive: ?
Kiln profile (as Rugby A1):

  • 1912-1924 0×2438: 36576×2438: tyres at 3429, 17145, 35433: turning gear at 18974.
  • 1924-1936 0×2438: 48768×2438: tyres at 3429, 17145, 35433, 44323: turning gear at 18974.

Cooler: rotary beneath kiln
Cooler profile: 0×: ×: ×: ×: Tyres at , ,
Fuel: Coal
Coal mill: indirect: ball mill: from 1924 direct: Clark Chapman turbo-pulverizer supplemented with Atritor
Typical Output: 1912-1923 105 t/d: 1924-1926 128 t/d: 1926-1932 149 t/d: 1932-1936 183 t/d
Typical Heat Consumption: 1912-1923 8.11 MJ/kg: 1924-1926 7.64 MJ/kg: 1926-1932 6.71 MJ/kg: 1932-1936 7.16 MJ/kg


Kiln A3

Supplier: Edgar Allen
Operated: 1924-24/12/1970
Process: Wet
Location: Hot end,: Cold end, : entirely enclosed
Dimensions:

  • 1924-~1938 160’0”× 9’0”B / 8’0”CD (metric 48.77 × 2.743 / 2.438)
  • ~1938-1970 155’8½”× 9’0”B / 8’0”C / 11’0”D (metric 47.46×2.743/2.438/3.353): desiccator added around 1938.

Rotation (viewed from firing end): ?
Slope: ?°
Speed: ?
Drive: ?
Kiln profile: 0×2438: 3200×2438: 4877×2743: 12370×2743: 13665×2438: 36144×2438: 37973×3353: 44488×3353: 45631×2438: 47460×2438: Tyres at 2311, 14681, 30378, 46025
Cooler: rotary 73’11½”× 6’4” (metric 22.54 × 1.930) beneath kiln
Cooler profile: 0×2286: 1981×2286: 2896×1930: 22543×1930: Tyres at 5144, 16802
Fuel: Coal
Coal mill: originally indirect - ball mill: from 1924 direct - Clark Chapman turbo-pulverizer supplemented with Atritor: later No16 Atritor only
Typical Output: 1924-1926 112 t/d: 1926-1932 130 t/d: 1932-1938 143 t/d: 1938-1955 148 t/d: 1955-1970 176 t/d
Typical Heat Consumption: 1924-1926 7.84 MJ/kg: 1926-1932 6.94 MJ/kg: 1932-1938 7.40 MJ/kg: 1938-1950 7.73 MJ/kg: 1950-1963 8.34 MJ/kg: 1963-1970 6.87 MJ/kg


Kiln B1

Supplier: Ernest Newell previously Ellesmere Port A6
Operated: 1933-31/12/1970
Process: Wet
Location: Hot end,: Cold end, : entirely enclosed
Dimensions: 199’9” × 9’10½”B / 9’0”C / 12’0” (metric 60.88 × 3.010 / 2.743 / 3.658)
Rotation (viewed from firing end): ?
Slope: ?°
Speed: ?
Drive: ?
Kiln profile: 0×2743: 3048×2743: 4267×3010: 14808×3010: 16129×2743: 51092×2743: 52921×3658: 59665×3658: 59665×2743: 60884×2743: Tyres at 2134, 17170, 29324, 39624, 54178
Cooler: rotary 70’10½” × 7’4½”/ 6’4” (metric 21.60 × 2.248 / 1.930) beneath kiln
Cooler profile: 0×2248: 5563×2248: 6528×1930: 21603×1930: Tyres at 4318, 15138
Fuel: Coal
Coal mill: direct: No18 Atritor
Typical Output: 1933-1939 240 t/d: 1939-1952 243 t/d: 1952-1963 268 t/d: 1963-1970 280 t/d
Typical Heat Consumption: 1933-1939 8.10 MJ/kg: 1939-1952 7.45 MJ/kg: 1952-1963 8.38 MJ/kg: 1963-1970 6.80 MJ/kg


Kiln B2

Supplier: partly ex Burham A4: probably originally Vickers
Operated: 1937-24/12/1970
Process: Wet
Location: Hot end,: Cold end, : entirely enclosed
Dimensions: 185’10½”× 9’10½”B / 8’10½”C / 11’10¼”D (metric 56.66 × 3.010 / 2.705 / 3.613)
Rotation (viewed from firing end): ?
Slope: ?°
Speed: ?
Drive: ?
Kiln profile: 0×2743: 2375×2743: 3442×3010: 15634×3010: 16701×2705: 41085×2705: 42913×3613: 51219×3613: 53035×2667: 55474×2667: 55740×2134: 56655×2134: Tyres at 1791, 17488, 35776, 54064
Cooler: rotary 71’11¼”× 6’4” (metric 21.93 × 1.930) beneath kiln
Cooler profile: 0×2553: 6077×2553: 7449×1930: 21927×1930: Tyres at 4858, 19844
Fuel: Coal
Coal mill: direct: No18 Atritor
Typical Output: 1937-1939 235 t/d: 1939-1952 242 t/d: 1952-1963 251 t/d: 1963-1970 259 t/d
Typical Heat Consumption: 1937-1939 8.06 MJ/kg: 1939-1952 7.52 MJ/kg: 1952-1963 8.13 MJ/kg: 1963-1970 6.73 MJ/kg



Sources: Cook, pp 43, 74: Francis, pp 214-215: Jackson, pp 226, 280, 281: Pugh, p 264: “The cement works of Messrs. Greaves, Bull and Lakin, Limited, Harbury, Leamington”, Engineering, CXXI, June 11, 1926, pp 681-685


© Dylan Moore 2011: commenced 19/07/2011: last edit 31/12/2016.

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Old Maps

A detail plan of the plant has been commenced, but progress is prevented by lack of information on the layout of the plant.

Approximate capacity: tonnes per year
Harbury Capacity

Harbury Picture
Picture: ©English Heritage - NMR Aerofilms Collection. Catalogue number 19692. A high-definition version can be obtained from English Heritage. This was taken on 29/10/1927, viewed from the south. The three kilns in the long building at the centre were being fed by slurry spray.