Cement Kilns

Rotherhithe

Location:

  • Grid reference: TQ3646180462
  • x=536450
  • y=180450
  • 51°30'24"N; 0°2'1"W
  • Civil Parish: Rotherhithe, London

Clinker manufacture operational: 1842-1846

Approximate total clinker production: 7000 tonnes

Raw materials:

Ownership: J. M. Maude, Son & Co.

This plant falls far outside the time period of this work, but is included because of its importance as the site where “Portland Cement as we know it” was first made commercially. William Aspdin left Wakefield in 1841, and initially located his business at another location, in a mill complex on Church Passage, Rotherhithe (535131,179825), close to the southern end of Marc Brunel’s Thames Tunnel. However, in view of the short period that he was there, presumably just using it as a business address, it is unlikely that he made any product. However, during 1841, he contracted his first partnership, with John Milthorpe Maude, and set up at a more promising location at Upper Ordnance Wharf. Three wet process bottle kilns were built, with a capacity of perhaps 70 t/week. The plant was abandoned when Parker’s plant at Northfleet became vacant, and Aspdin promptly relocated there. The site reverted to its previous warehousing role and the wharf area is now part of the up-market housing developments in the old Surrey Docks area. The actual location is now called Sovereign View and is a small paved piazza with an un-marked obelisk standing a few metres from the site of the kilns.

No rotary kilns were installed.


Sources: Francis, pp 110-115


© Dylan Moore 2011: last edit 26/11/2014.

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