Cement Kilns

Rodmell

Location:

  • Grid reference: TQ43550634
  • x=543550
  • y=106340
  • 50°50'20"N; 0°2'20"E
  • Civil Parish: Beddingham, East Sussex

Clinker manufacture operational: 1932 - 1975

Approximate total clinker production: 4.1 million tonnes

Raw materials:

  • Middle Chalk (Holywell Nodular Chalk Formation: 92-94 Ma) and Grey Chalk (Zig-zag Chalk Formation: 94-97 Ma) from quarry at 544050,106450
  • Upper Gault Clay (Gault Formation: 100-106 Ma) from pit at 543950,107100.

Ownership:

Sometimes known as Beddingham or Asham Works: Rodmell is on the other side of the river. The plant was originally planned on the site of a small lime works by a consortium who had previously been making hydraulic lime at Balcombe Pit, Glynde (545900,108600). A. Y. Gowan bought the plant in early 1933, and immediately started a radical redesign. The plant was Blue Circle’s smallest in the post-war period, and was closed due to high cost early in the 1970s energy crisis. The plant used the Lewes-Newhaven railway for transport. It also used a wharf on the River Ouse to which it was connected by a 300 m aerial ropeway. This was used to bring in coal and despatch cement for coastal trade. The quarry has been landfilled. A few of the plant buildings have been retained in connection with the landfill: the kiln structures have been obliterated.

Rawmills

Two 55 KW washmills in series followed by a 55 kW ball mill. Trix separators were installed ahead of the ball mill in 1935.

One rotary kiln was installed:

Kiln A1

Supplier: Edgar Allen
Operated: 10/1932 - ?31/01/1975
Process:Wet, with calcinator added in 1935
Location: hot end : cold end : totally enclosed.
Dimensions:

  • original (from cooler ports): 231’1”× 10’6”B / 9’0”CD (metric 70.43 × 3.200 / 2.743)
  • from 1935: 229’5⅛”× 10’6”B / 9’0”CD (metric 69.93 × 3.200 / 2.743))

Rotation (viewed from firing end): anti-clockwise
Slope: ?
Speed: ?
Drive: ?
Kiln profile:

  • original (from cooler ports): -1194×3200: 20396×3200: 22835×2743: 70434×2743: Tyres at 8268, 25400, 44679, 65303
  • from 1935: 0×3200: 19891×3200: 22330×2743: 69929×2743: Tyres at 7763, 24895, 44174, 64799

Cooler:

  • original: Edgar Allen reflex planetary 12 × 15’6” × 2’10” (metric 4.724 × 0.8636)
  • from 1935: FLS bucket grate cooler
  • from 07/05/1957: Fuller 633S grate cooler (10° slope): right angles to kiln

Fuel: Coal
Coal Mill: indirect: originally a Rexman rod mill: eventually a Rema closed circuit ball mill
Typical Output: 1932-1935 189 t/d: 1935-1952 288 t/d: 1952-1968 335 t/d: 1968-1975 294 t/d
Typical Heat Consumption: 1932-1935 7.85 MJ/kg: 1935-1957 6.77 MJ/kg: 1957-1975 6.48 MJ/kg



Sources: Cook, p 92: Jackson, pp 256, 295: Pugh, p 269: “New cement works near Lewes”, Cement and Cement Manufacture, VII, 1934, pp 145-150


© Dylan Moore 2011: last edit 15/08/2015.

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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 earlier plant. These are to be found in the Greenhithe archive, which remains inaccessible.

Approximate capacity: tonnes per year
Rodmell Capacity