Thames (West Thurrock)

Gibbs Logo Gibbs Diamond Brand.


  • Grid reference: TQ59557820
  • x=559610
  • y=178220
  • 51°28'49"N; 0°17'52"E
  • Civil Parish: West Thurrock, Essex

Clinker manufacture operational: 1872-26/3/1909, 1919-1921

Approximate total clinker production: 590,000 tonnes

Raw materials:


Occasionally called Gibbs Works. Starting with seven chamber kilns (170 t/week), further similar blocks of seven were built in 1882 and 1893, after which there was no further development. It was the site of one of the second-generation Ransome rotary kilns which, like the others, failed to operate successfully. A highly optimistic account of the kiln appeared in The Engineer in 1887, and can be read here. A number of rotary kilns were projected, but were not commissioned. The plant closed when the local new rotary kiln plants were in full production as the market turned down in 1909, although it seems to have been briefly re-opened after WWI. Whiting was made and continued some time after the cement plant closed. The plant site and quarry were amalgamated with those of the adjacent Wouldham (Essex): the buildings were abandoned and gradually removed. The quarry now contains housing, and the plant site warehousing.

One rotary kiln was installed.

Kiln A1

Supplier: Ransome
Operated: installed 1887 – never produced commercially
Process: “Long” Dry
Location: ? : entirely enclosed.
Dimensions: 25’0” × 5’0” (metric 7.62 × 1.524)
Rotation (viewed from firing end): ?
Kiln profile: ?0×1524, 7620×1524: rollers at 1905, 5715: turning gear at 3810
Cooler: none
Fuel: Producer gas
Typical Output: 13 t/d (calculated): it was claimed that it should make 25 t/d
Typical Heat Consumption: 12.0 MJ/kg (calculated)

Sources: Francis, pp 205, 234: Jackson, p 280: Victoria County History of Essex, Vol 2, pp 492-493: The Engineer, 63, 4 March 1887, p 167.