Cement Kilns


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  • Grid reference: TQ44870328
  • x=544870
  • y=103280
  • 50°48'39"N; 0°3'23"E
  • Civil Parish: South Heighton, East Sussex

Clinker manufacture operational: 9/1884 - 1924

Approximate total clinker production: 790,000 tonnes

Raw materials:

  • Upper Chalk (Seaford Chalk Formation: 85-88 Ma) from the adjacent quarry at 544900,103400
  • Clay:
    • 1884-1897 Alluvial Clay from the Medway
    • 1897-1922 Alluvium from the adjacent marshes 544950,103250, and Upper Gault Clay (Gault Formation: 100-106 Ma) from Glynde 546900,109700 (by rail)


Sometimes called South Heighton Works. The plant was constructed with chamber kilns: 1884 Nos 1-4, capacity 84 t/week, located at 544843,103226 to 544850,103230; 1891 Nos 5-12, capacity 232 t/week, located at 544856,103242 to 544874,103272; 1897 Nos 13-21, capacity 261 t/week, located at 544876,103277 to 544896,103311. Heat consumption 16.8 MJ/kg. In 1902, a rotary kiln similar to those at Shoreham was installed. A second, larger kiln was installed in 1907. The 1924 rating was 350 t/week, with presumably only a few chamber kilns operational. The closure of the plant, in an area short of cement, was presumably due to lack of raw material reserves. The plant did not have a wharf on the River Ouse: it had a spur on the LB&SC railway, and may have used the port of Newhaven for water-borne transport. The plant site is now an industrial estate, and the quarry contains a trailer park.


In the early plant, chalk and clay were milled in a common washmill, then the slurry was re-ground with flat stones. There must have been later modifications but these are unknown.

Two rotary kilns were installed:

Kiln A1

Supplier: FLS
Operated: 10/1902 -1908
Process: Wet
Location: Hot end 544879,103347: Cold end 544864,103357
Dimensions: Metric 18.00×1.500
Rotation (viewed from firing end): anti-clockwise.
Slope: 1/16 (3.583°)
Speed: ?
Drive: 2.24 kW
Kiln profile: 0×1500: 18000×1500: tyres at 2100, 8400, 15900: turning gear at 9375
Cooler: Cooler pit, elevator and vertical 3 m i.d. drum cooler
Fuel: Coal
Coal mill: indirect: ball mill
Typical Output: 26 t/d
Typical Heat Consumption: 10.3 MJ.kg

Kiln A2

Supplier: FLS
Operated: 4/1907-1924
Process: Wet
Location: Hot end 544883,103352: Cold end 544854,103369
Dimensions: Metric 34.00×2.100
Rotation (viewed from firing end): clockwise.
Slope: 1/25 (2.292°)
Speed: 1.0-2.0 rpm
Drive: ?
Kiln profile: 0×2100: 34000×2100: tyres at 1475, 12010, 25970: turning gear at 12905
Cooler: concentric rotary metric 9.50 × 1.050 / 1.650 beneath kiln
Cooler profile: 0×1200: 3640×1200: 3640×1050: 3920×1050: 3920×1650: 9500×1650: tyre at 2150 with trunnion end bearing: turning gear at tail end
Fuel: Coal
Coal mill: indirect: ball mill
Typical Output: 69 t/d
Typical Heat Consumption: 8.73 MJ.kg

Sources: Francis, pp 175, 257: Jackson, p 288: Pugh, p 51: 1902 Newspaper article

© Dylan Moore 2011: commenced 07/08/2011: last edit 13/06/2017.

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Old Maps

A detail plan of the plant has been partially completed, but further progress is prevented by lack of information on the layout of the rotary kiln plant. These are to be found in the Greenhithe archive, which remains inaccessible.

Approximate capacity: tonnes per year
Newhaven clinker capacity

Newhaven cement plant 1902
Picture courtesy of Alan Collier. Picture accompanying the 1902 Newspaper article, with a view from the east. In the centre background, is the long range of 21 chamber kilns, connected to two stacks built on the top of the quarry face. As implied by the newspaper article, the rotary kiln was apparently not yet in place, but was probably being installed in the building next to the right. Furthest right is the power house with a masonry stack.