Tyne and Wear HER(2292): South Shields, Temple Town, Jarrow Chemical Works - Details
South Shields, Temple Town, Jarrow Chemical Works
Chemical Production Site
Jarrow Chemical Works. This site was acquired by Isaac Cookson (glassmaker) in 1822. A crude form of the Leblanc process was worked to make soda. By 1827 the factory was able to supply all the local glass works with alkali and had some left for export. Some of the salt required as a raw material was made in Cookson's salt pans at East Howdon. From 1838 to 1841 the firm was harrassed by claims to damage to crops from the acid vapour. In 1844 the works closed. The same year they reopened under new management having been bought by Messrs. J and W Stevenson, J. Tennant and J.C. Williamson (Jarrow Chemical Company). The company was progressive in matters of science and welfare of the workers. They built schools, houses and institutes. They increased the height of some buildings to improve the ventilation. They were pioneers of the Saturday half-day holiday. James Stevenson retired in 1854. The works passed to his son J.C. Stevenson and J. Williamson. This was the start of the most fruitful period. They made many scientific contributions such as the invention of a robust and efficient revolving furnace for making black ash. The Jarrow Chemical Company bought Friar's Goose Chemical Works in 1858. 1400 men were employed at the two sites - the largest alkali company on the Tyne. The factories were taken over by the United Alkali Company in 1891. The Jarrow works was shut down and dismantled soon after.
<< HER 2292 >> 1st edition Ordnance Survey Map, c.1855, 6 inch scale, Durham, 3; University of Newcastle upon Tyne Department of Extra-Mural Studies, 1961, The Old Tyneside Chemical Trade, chapter XII, pages 31-33