Cowen firebrick and iron slag, Blaydon Burn

  • Description

    "Two items illustrating the industrial past of the valley lying in the shallow water of the burn close to the site shown in [[2819309]] Cowen's bricks were made from fireclay which is an alumino-silicate mineral found below the coal measures of the Carboniferous Millstone-grit series. Several of the coal mines in the valley produced large quantities of fireclay and the high percentages of silica and low level of impurities, made the bricks particularly suitable for iron, glass and lead making. In 1896 about 6 million firebricks were being made at Blaydon Burn every year, particularly for foreign and colonial exports http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelbarrow/3640515414/ The simple 'COWEN' stamp was used prior to 1926. Other Cowen bricks made later than this are shown here [[2816141]] and [[5100394]] Other makes of firebricks can also be found in and around the burn and associated with former buildings. Those marked 'Lily' were made at a later date at a yard in High Spen. Local coal was used for steel production which may have been the source of the slag. One particular site in the valley was just upstream from here, at Massey's Forge [[2816051]] Fragments of black-lead crucibles, associated with an early form of steel making, were found in the excavation of Massey’s Forge in 1982. The Cowen Brick - probably the best brick in the world http://www.rolyveitch.20m.com/CowenBrick.html" Photo by Andrew Curtis, 2012.
  • Owner

    Andrew Curtis
  • Source

    Geograph (Geograph)
  • License

    What does this mean? Creative Commons License
  • Further information

    Link: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/2819376
    Resource type: Image
    Added by: Simon Cotterill
    Last modified: 4 years, 8 months ago
    Viewed: 483 times
    Picture Taken: 2012-02-24
  • Co-Curate tags

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