Industrial Heritage Online

Industrial Heritage Online

Ravenscar Brickworks

Description:-
Whitaker Brick Company Ravenscar. Sited inside the old alum quarry the brickworks was setup in 1901 next to the Scarborough & Whitby Railway and supplied bricks to Scarborough until the 1930s. The remains of the single large Hoffman kiln, in the care of the National Trust but overgrown and deteriorating, can still be seen.

History:-
Around 1900 B. Whitaker & Sons Ltd of Horsforth built a brickworks to provide bricks for the new holiday resort of Ravenscar, in the disused east shale quarry, which had provided shale for the local alum industry. Unfortunately, the development did not come to fruition because of its location on a windswept hilltop over 600 feet above the rocky beach, which could only be accessed with difficulty down a path in the cliff face. The development company went into liquidation in 1911 or 1913, with Ravenscar becoming known as the ‘town that never was’. Fortunately for Whitakers, the brickworks was built alongside the railway line from which a siding was built to serve the brickworks, presumably to enable coal to be brought in easily. Having this siding, enabled the brickworks to expand its market into Scarborough and surrounding areas and so was able to survive. The brickworks which comprised a Hoffmann kiln with a making shed with boiler and engine house continued to survive until the outbreak of the Great War when they closed. Silica Products Ltd acquired the site for their terminus for their tramroad from Ravenscar Silica Quarry. At Ministry of Works request they reopened the brickworks around 1920, trading as Ravenscar Brick Works, and kept it going until the outbreak of World War 2.
Confusingly the brickworks was also known as Whitakers brickworks throughout its existence even after Whitakers had relinquished any connection with them, including in the official railway records.

References:-
[1] Los, W. A. 1984. Ravenscar brickworks. Industrial Heritage, 6-8.
[2] Goldring, D.2001. Along the Scar. Peter Tuffs.


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Key Words :- brickworks Hoffmann kiln, railway siding
Address :- Ravenscar, Robin Hoods Bay, North Yorkshire, YO13 0ES
Grid Ref :- NZ 9722 0161
Co-ordinates :- Lat - 54.400680 , Long - -0.503926
Local Authority :- Scarborough
Pre 1974 County :- Yorkshire - North Riding
Site Condition :- Site derelict - some buildings remaining
Site Status :- Site extant - Protected status unknown
Site Dates :- 1901 - c1939