Tyne and Wear HER(1654): Blaydon Burn, Tile Kilns - Details
Blaydon Burn, Tile Kilns
Associated with Massey’s Forge and Emerson and Milner’s Firebrick Works are a pair of vaulted firebrick ovens (Plate 83), which can be identified with one of the buildings marked on the site in 1858 [OS 1]. The function of these features is not clear: they could be the two Newcastle kilns at the Milner yard which were used for burning gas retorts in 1863, by which date the site was part of Cowen & Co’s Lower Yard [Davidson 145], but there is a possibility that they were coke ovens – possibly long ovens - which could be of national significance [David Cranstone pers com.]. The kilns are built of bricks marked ‘E & M’, the Emerson and Milner trademark, but these could be products of the use of the yard by W.C.Carr after 1850. Fireclay retorts made by an extrusion machine replaced those made of iron between the 1840s and 1860s. The cracking to which early retorts of pure fireclay were prone was overcome by mixing carbonaceous materials like sawdust, charcoal, crushed coke and carbon. This made the retort have a more porous structure. Two firebrick vaulted chambers survive (Plate 83) with vent holes in the crown of the vault, the interiors are choked with debris and the front walls are missing. Poor condition.
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