Clinker manufacture operational: 1906-1981
Approximate total clinker production: 3.4 million tonnes
Sometimes called Southerham Works. The site had produced grey and white lime since the late eighteenth century from two distinct quarries 0.5 km apart: Navigation Pit to the north (542500,109900) and Southerham White Pit to the south. Cement manufacture began at the more northerly site in 1906 with a block of seven chamber kilns (200 t/week). A further four kilns were installed in 1912 giving a total 320 t/week. The chamber kilns were abandoned following the installation of the rotary kiln, which was placed in the southerly quarry. The plant was the smallest in the UK from the 1960s onwards. There was a plan to triple the size of the plant in 1968 (although still wet process), but planning permission was denied in this scenic semi-urban location. Final closure in 1981 was ostensibly due to the installation of Rochester A6. The plant used a spur of the LB&SC railway for transport. The site remained a depot for a short time after closure then was cleared and is now an industrial estate. The white quarry is occupied by a recycler and the grey quarry is waste land.
Please contact me with any relevant information or corrections. I am particularly interested in firmer dates and statistics.
? Washmill and screener – total 450 kW
One rotary kiln was installed:
There is some confusion about the Lewes kiln. It is clear from maps and photographs that the kiln was initially much shorter and was extended in the 1930s, but the FLS reference list says it was 75 m as installed.
Cooler: Unax planetary ?11 tubes
© Dylan Moore 2011: commenced 07/08/2011: last edit 20/12/2016.
Picture: ©English Heritage - NMR Aerofilms Collection. Britain from Above reference number EPW039409.
Britain from Above features some of the oldest and most valuable images of the Aerofilms Collection, a unique and important archive of aerial photographs. You can download images, share memories, and add information. By the end of the project in 2014, 95,000 images taken between 1919 and 1953 will be available online.
This was taken in August 1932, and shows the plant from the northwest. The kiln was later extended beyond the stack. View in High Definition.