Boulby Alum Works

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The easiest way to avoid a plummet down the cliffs is to approach from Boulby and continue straight on where the Cleveland Way turns sharply uphill.

The first remains to be encountered are the foundations of a reservoir, theres also a large metal tub, although I cannot say if its contemporary.

Boulby Alum Works Boulby Alum Works Boulby Alum Works metal container

Adjacent to this is a small length of tunnel which has collapsed a short way in.

Boulby Alum Works Tunnel Boulby Alum Works Tunnel Boulby Alum Works Tunnel

All over the site are numerous smaller conduits that must have been used to move liquids around.

Boulby Alum Works Culvert Boulby Alum Works CulvertBoulby Alum Works Culvert

The path then passes directly between the bases of two circular cisterns.

Boulby Alum Works Cistern

Up towards the base of the cliffs the top of a short waterlogged tunnel can be seen to the right of a retaining wall, this only travels through the bank and appears to be for drainage.

Boulby Alum Works Retaining Wall and Cliff Boulby Alum Works Flooded Tunnel Boulby Alum Works Flooded Tunnel

The next area you come across is the series of huge stone retaining walls visible from the top of the cliffs on the Cleveland Way.

Boulby Alum Works Retaining Walls Boulby Alum Works Retaining Walls Boulby Alum Works Retaining Walls Boulby Alum Works Retaining Walls Boulby Alum Works Retaining Walls

Huge boulders from the cliffs litter the area above the works.

Boulby Alum Works Cliff Collapse

Two small tunnels can be seem running through the remains of the alum clamps where the stone was burnt for months on end, it has been suggested they were to aid the process.

Boulby Alum Works Tunnels Boulby Alum Works Tunnel Boulby Alum Works Tunnel

Towards the edge of the cliff a tunnel runs around an area of an old landslip re-emerging some distance away, The regular blocks suggest some sort of trough or conduit was originally present.

Boulby Alum Works Tunnel Boulby Alum Works Tunnel Boulby Alum Works Tunnel

A smaller conduit joins the tunnel at one point, and somewhat mysteriously a pretty teapot sits in one corner.

Boulby Alum Works Tunnel Side Passage Boulby Alum Works Tunnel Teapot

8 thoughts on “Boulby Alum Works

  1. I visited this site on a bright day. The terrain and scenery was almost lunar like, making this site a good location for filming the likes of Blakes 7…….

  2. In Harold Heslop’s book “Out of the old earth” published 1994, he states that in 1912 his Father was appointed by Skinningrove Iron Company Ltd as Manager of Boulby Ironstone Mine. They moved from Rough Lea near Bishop Auckland to Boulby Grange in January 1913. The mine had a shaft in the garden of Boulby Grange and an adit in the cliff where all the rubbish was dumped onto the beach below. This adit also provided fresh air ventilation. The garden path at Boulby grange was made from the fossilised snake-like monster that had been quarried unbroken from the Alum Quarry above the house but now lay shattered having been vandalised some years before. Many fossils were discovered in the ironstone mine both above and below the ironstone seam in the shale strata. Many up to 15 inches across, but all were discarded and still lie in the mine.

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  4. would anyone who is familiar with this site be interested in having a look around? or is there any details on the layout of the mines etc

  5. The site was investigated many years ago by Keith Chapman

    His report is in a book called “Stepped In History – The Alum Industry of North-East Yorkshire” although that’s pretty hard to come by in it own right.

    If you’re mad keen I can scan you a copy as its about a dozen pages.

  6. Hi, I recovered a couple of items from the beach a year or so back,
    iron rod about 2′ in length with a pin at one end and hole at other, presumably some sort of towing link for carts on the rail lines?

    Small solid iron wheel about 6″ dia.

    These are available for use/display/study by anyone with an interest.

    I do not take stuff from in-situ archaeological sites! This stuff was in the sand and would have been lost to the sea.

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