Cement Kilns

Peters

Peters LogoPeters Brand. Image kindly supplied by Mark Peters.

Location:

  • Grid reference: TQ71186291
  • x=571180
  • y=162910
  • 51°20'22"N; 0°27'28"E
  • Civil Parish: Wouldham, Kent: the southern end of the plant, and all the lime kilns were in Burham, Kent

Clinker manufacture operational: 1870-1928

Approximate total clinker production: 2.5 million tonnes

Raw materials:

  • Grey Chalk (Zig-zag Chalk Formation: 94-97 Ma) and Middle Chalk (Holywell Nodular Chalk Formation: 92-94 Ma) from quarry at 571800,163200
  • Medway Alluvial Clay

Ownership:

Before the BPCM acquisition, this was known as Wouldham Hall Works. Peters had been making hydraulic lime at the site, and 18 lime kilns remained throughout. Cement manufacture began with wet process bottle kilns, numbering 24 by 1879, making 720 t/week. These were replaced with Batchelor chamber kilns in the mid-1880s, still giving 720 t/week. During 1888-1889, a further nine chamber kilns were added, bringing total capacity to 990 t/week. Also during the 1890s, two 18-chamber Hoffman rings were installed, but appear to have been used only for lime. During 1898-1899, 17 more chamber kilns (510 t/week) were installed. In 1903 three Schneider kilns (330 t/week) burning surplus dryings were installed, bringing the total capacity close to Davis’ 1907 value of 1850 t/week . To install the rotary kilns, the first chamber kiln block was demolished, and the remaining chamber kilns were only used up to 1915. Most were removed, but the last six remained in commission until closure, although these were only used during 1919-1922. Operations were combined with West Kent by BPCM with only the Peters rotary kilns running right through WWI. There was no railway link, and the building of Holborough nearby finally squeezed the west bank plants out. After closure, the rotary kilns were moved to Crown and Quarry and Shoreham. The plant also made perhaps 50,000 tonnes a year of grey and white lime, and this may have continued for some time after the cement plant closed – the bottle and Hoffman kilns remained in place into the 1960s. The site was gradually cleared, the last buildings having been removed only recently, but much of the foundations are still visible. The quarry remains waste. See Wouldham Village website.

Rawmills

It seems that, at least in the plant's final form, chalk, marl and/or clay were milled together in a pair of washmills. A tube mill may have been used for re-grinding.

Two rotary kilns were installed:

Kiln A1

Supplier: FLS
Operated: ?11/1911 - 1928
Process: Wet
Location: hot end 571283,162749: cold end 571262,162793: hot end enclosed.
Dimensions: metric 50.00 × 2.700B / 2.400CD
Rotation (viewed from firing end): clockwise
Slope: 1/25 (2.292°)
Speed: ?
Drive: ?
Kiln profile: 0×1925: 700×1925: 700×2400: 2100×2400: 2100×2700: 9900×2700: 11925×2400: 50000×2400: Tyres at 1300, 13200, 27700, 44475
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:
Typical Output: 119 t/d
Typical Heat Consumption: 1911-1914 9.3 MJ/kg: 1914-1928 8.1 MJ/kg


Kiln A2

Operated: ?5/1913 - 1928
Location: hot end 571288,162751: cold end 571267,162795: hot end enclosed.
Identical in all other respects to A1



Sources: Eve, p 32: Francis, pp 188-189: Jackson, pp 291, 303: Preston, pp 72, 84-86, 171-172, 200


© Dylan Moore 2011: commenced 07/08/2011: last edit 14/07/2017.

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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 adjacent West Kent plant.

Approximate capacity: tonnes per year
Peters Capacity

peters Picture courtesy of Maidstone Museum and Benlif Art Gallery. The waterfront of the plant around 1910, from the northwest. In the foreground are probably bunkers for fuel. The first bank of chamber kilns was immediately behind, and two of its three stacks are visible. Further to the right is the long range of bottle kilns for lime, and the stacks at far right are those of the Hoffman kilns, also probably for lime.