In 1859 a borehole was started at Bolkow and Vaughans’ Middlesbrough Ironworks in search of a clean water supply for use in their boilers, instead of dirty water from the Tees. By 1862 at a depth of 1200ft a bed of rock salt was discovered that was almost 100ft thick.
The Cleveland Salt Company was formed in 1887 to exploit this resource for the fledgling chemical industry, Carl Bolckow nephew of Henry was one of the first board members, fresh water was pumped down into the salt bed which it dissolved, brine was then pumped out and evaporated in large pans to drive off the water and extract the salt.
The six original pans were initially fired by waste hot gas from the Middlesbrough Ironworks blast furnaces, this was expanded to thirteen pans in 1889. In 1920 the blast furnaces were blown out and the pans had to be converted to run on coal.
A total of four wells existed in the companies’ lifetime, The original No.1 was abandoned in 1893 due to a roof fall, No.2 and No.3 from 1888 and 1893 respectively operated until around 1938 when they started to become choked. So No.4 which had been an incomplete well started in 1896 was re-started, but was not completed until 1941 due to drilling problems and the outbreak of the Second World War.
In 1945 and 1946 there were roof falls in the remaining No.4 well after which the evaporation pans were never restarted. The company wound up in 1947 having produced 879,972 ton of salt in 59 years.
Making a few calculations, that suggests a volume of over 400,000 cubic meters, or 165 Olympic Swimming Pools. It’s an interesting thought that there must now remain a huge water-filled void under the area, most likely under the river and Transporter Bridge !
Today all that remains is the impressive red brick boundary wall on Vulcan Street dating from 1887. This became a listed building in 1988, however it’s not totally original as it was rebuilt from other interesting sections of the original building by the Cleveland Community Task Force, Middlesbrough Council and the Davy Corporation in 1982.
A talk on 3D Photogrammetry and Photo Merging using modern digital technology to create three dimensional digital models and time slider photos.
By Adrian Glasser
volunteer with the Land of Iron Project
Friday 8th February 7pm
St. Matthew’s Church, Grosmont
Refreshments provided £3 donation towards funds
The Land of Iron project is a Heritage Lottery Funded project in the North York Moors National Park which is conserving, protecting and promoting the remains of the ironstone mining industry which was active around Rosedale from the mid 1800’s to 1926.
Although the subject matter of the Land of Iron project is from a by-gone era, the project is actively utilizing modern digital technology, including 3D recording of archeological sites and drone and hand-held camera photogrammetry, the process of using digital photographs to reconstruct three dimensional, digital models of objects, buildings and sites. We are currently in the midst’s of what is being called the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Recent digital technological advancements such as the internet, 3D scanning, computer aided design, coding, 3D printing, laser cutting, digital manufacturing, robotics, electronics and microcontrollers are transforming our lives. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is being driven by an explosion of knowledge and information that is readily accessible to virtually everybody to learn how to use these digital technologies to do and make virtually anything. In this talk, I will show, describe and demonstrate some of the Land of Iron projects that are using readily accessible, inexpensive and often free, digital technologies and software. This includes web based ‘time-sliders’ that that allow users to control the transition between original and modern photographs of sites in the Land of Iron project and a fully automated, but simple, motor controlled, geared, cardboard cut-out, photogrammetry turntable that rotates small objects and triggers a camera to capture photographs to reconstruct three dimensional models of artifacts. Although the talk will be of a technical nature, it is intended to appeal to adults and children of all ages and technical abilities. Please, everybody, come along to learn how technology from the Fourth Industrial Revolution is helping us to learn about what went on during the First Industrial Revolution.
The scheme to build Paddy Waddells Railway (or Cleveland Extension Mineral Railway to give its full name) was started in 1872 and intended to connect Kilton Thorpe to the ironworks at Glaisdale. The scheme struggled financially from the outset as the Eskdale mines and furnaces in the South all struggled, whilst iron mining and production became concentrated to the North in Cleveland. After year of inactivity the scheme was finally scrapped in the 1889. Glaisdale Ironworks having already closed by this point anyway.
Many parts of the infrastructure of the line were constructed, even though no trains ever ran.
This bridge was constructed at Rake House in Glaisdale to carry the road over the railway.
One of the critical factors in the success of the industry in our project area was the construction of the Cleveland Railway, this was opened in November 1861 between the Skelton Old Shaft mines and Normanby Jetty, extending toward Boosbeck in 1862. Branches were also constructed to Slapewath, Stanghow and Aysdalegate mines.
With the construction of the railways came numerous interesting bridges, tunnels and culverts.
This culvert (in orange) carries a stream under the branch line which went to Slapewath Mine
This small tunnel (yellow) went under the same branch line, but was dry for livestock and people to cross under the railway.
This much more sizeable tunnel (red) passed under the main line.
Considering they date from the 1860’s, they are all in excellent condition.
The remains of of the Picton brickworks stand adjacent to the Eaglescliffe to Northallerton line just north of what was Picton railway station.
It was opened by the Picton Junction Brick and Tile Company in the 1920s, using a 20ft layer of clay just below the surface (the flooded pits are immediately to the east)
There are 5 double ended Newcastle Kilns which are 38ft long (the chimney is central with a loading entrance and stoke holes at either end)
The kiln with the brick front still contains the last load of un-fired bricks which date from its closure in 1938.
This shop front dates from 1863, the Kirk Forge operated here until around 1980.
The listed building record states they are cast iron, but comments from a previous owner disagree.
“The window frames, pilasters and decorative work at the top of the ground floor windows are made of timber, not iron. “
Buried in the undergrowth at the side of Cleveland Way near the cliff top at Port Mulgrave are the rusting remains of a Blackstone No.1 Digger
Blackstone & Co were based in Stamford, Lincolnshire, United Kingdom. This piece of farm machinery was a potato spinner and probably dates from the 1930s as Lister took over Blackstone & Co in 1937 to form Lister Blackstone.
Here is an intact model.