Clinker manufacture operational: 1/5/1851 to 11/1907
Approximate total clinker production: 820,000 tonnes
See also a general history of the Frindsbury cement plants. This was the first Portland cement plant on the Medway. Johnson’s original plant had four bottle kilns, and this had expanded to seven by 1869. Preston gives an interesting account of early production at the plant, which is probably characteristic of other such early enterprises:
Four kilns could in theory make 6000 tonnes per annum, so capacity utilization peaked at 35%. Roman Cement was also made, and given that it was still more popular than Portland at this time, it is likely that the remaining capacity was largely used in its production. Johnson developed the plant in co-operation with George Burge and his son of the same name, and the latter went on to develop the other Frindsbury plants in co-operation with William Tingey, who owned the mineral rights for the peninsula. Burge and Tingey jointly owned the Rochester Chalk Company which operated the quarries.
A further five bottle kilns were added by 1868. Ten chamber kilns were installed in 1876, a further seven in 1877, four in 1881, seven in 1889, two in 1899 and six in 1903 – a total of 29, with a capacity of 841 t/week. The bottle kilns were phased out by 1888. The site was merged into that of Crown and Quarry in 1907.
No rotary kilns were installed.
© Dylan Moore 2011: last edit 22/11/14.
Approximate capacity: tonnes per year