Tyne and Wear HER(8497): Cowgate, Sunset Brick and Tileworks - Details
Cowgate, Sunset Brick and Tileworks
Brick and Tilemaking Site
Built in 1921 by W Cochrane-Carr at the top of Two Ball Lonnen. Shale was extracted from a nearby quarry using explosives until 1953, when a mechanical excavator and drag line were introduced. The works comprised a 16-chamber Staffordshire transverse-arch kiln, each chamber holding 8500 bricks, with a 120 feet high chimney. Some 18 Simplex kilns stood in two rows, each capable of holding 6000 bricks. Three Mongrel kilns operated from 1921 to 1931, each holding 20,000 bricks. The Mongrel kilns were replaced by a row of nine Newcastle-type intermittent kilns, each holding 11,000 bricks; these were demolished in 1955. Tiles were originally dried on drying flats; in 1934 the open drying flats were replaced by seven drying chambers; the tiles were then set in one of the Simplex kilns. Production of tiles stopped in 1955 and the works concentrated on producing bricks. Coal was originally supplied from W C Carr’s Benwell Charlotte mine, and after 1945 from North Walbottle Colliery. By 1967 the neighbouring quarry was exhausted of shale and, with no nearby economic supply, the works closed. Dates: 1921 – 1967 20th Century brick and tile works Source: Davison, P J, 1986. Brickworks of the North East, 68 site 21, 71-81.
P.J. Davison, 1986, Brickworks of the North East, p 68, site 21 and pp 71-81