Saturday, January 29, 2011

Bottle kilns

Most abandoned industries tend to leave an ugly scar on the countryside but this pair of bottle kilns, on the hillside just north of Corbridge in Northumberland, make an elegant addition to the rural landscape. They were part of Walker's Corbridge Fire Brick and Sanitary Tube Works and were built sometime around 1840, operating until 1910. Bricks, tiles and chimney pots were moulded by hand using wooden patterns and then fired, sometimes for weeks on end.  Rather an elegant piece of industrial archaeology. This view probably hasn't changed much since 1840, except for the power transformer on the pole.
You can find some more images of these structures, including interior views here

8 comments:

  1. These are beautiful...........I have added them to my list. A must see and photograph.

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  2. Phil, I found them on Google earth and they appear to be in someone's garden. Is access to them good?

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  3. Hi Adrian, I suspect that access isn't good. I took this with a 300mm telephoto from the track known as Deadridge Lane - and that's as close as I've ever been to them. The entrance to the house is on Milkwell Lane. Aydon Castle, a mile or so beyond Deadridge Lane, across the A69 and NNE,along the footpath through the woods, is worth a look (although it's closed in winter)if you are in the area

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  4. Interesting, they look like they should be in the North African desert!

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  5. Interesting that you should mention that Valerianna. many years ago I was working in a very arid part of Syria near Aleppo and saw mud-brick houses ('bee-hive houses') of a very similar shape - see http://www.traveladventures.org/continents/asia/beehive-houses.shtml

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  6. Yes! Those were exactly what I was thinking of... interesting that you know them. I didn't know what they were called, but I love that they are
    "bee-hive houses", a great inspiration for my students to work with.... there is a visual story in that name! And the houses are quite fascinating!

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  7. Access to the bottle kilns is via a stile on Milkwell Lane, just to the south of the houses. Good Info board too

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for the tip ..... now I'll go and have a look!

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