Broseley, King Street Works

Figure 66: Block Plan of Southorn's Kiln, Broseley.

Figure 70: Sections through surviving kiln; Broseley

Figure 71: Surviving kiln; Broseley. Taken circa 1950
Reproduced by permission of A Oswald

Figure 72: Billhead showing kilns at Southorn's Legg's Hill Works (Ironbridge Gorge Museum 1986.14089)
Reproduced by permission of the Chief Archivist

A second structure surviving from the nineteenth century is that from the King Street works in Broseley (see plan above 231-2). This is a freestanding kiln of open chamber type. It is a brick built bottle kiln of updraft design originally topped out with a tall tapering chimney. Although this chimney no longer exists a photograph taken by Adrian Oswald, circa 1950 (Oswald 1975, 15), shows that it stood at least nine metres (30 feet) high. The site is known to have been used for the manufacture of pipes since 1881 (Higgins et al 1988, 5). The kiln shown on the Ordnance Survey map dated 1882, in the same position as that still standing, is likely to be the same kiln. At some later date the chimney was blanked off, a second brick chimney constructed, and the kiln converted to downdraft. An underground flue four metres (13 feet) long was constructed from the kiln to the new chimney. The additional chimney is brick built, of square plan, 6.6 metres (22 feet) high. At its base it is 1.2 metres (4 feet) square, narrowing to 1.0 metre (3 feet 4 inches) square at the top. There is an iron door 0.225 metres (9 inches) square in one side 1.0 metre (3 feet 4 inches) above the ground. The original bottle structure is bound with a number of iron bands and chains with lugs and screw adjusters to compensate for expansion and contraction as the structure was heated and cooled. Between the horizontal bands are a series of vertical straps forming an iron cage over the outside of the structure. A vertical section is included here (Figure 70). Oswald's photograph is reproduced here (Figure 71). A post 1851 William Southorn & Co billhead shows two updraught bottle kilns with tall chimneys similar to the original King Street arrangement (Figure 72).