Coal Ovens at Downing's Blurton Tileries, Stoke-on-Trent

Move your pointing device over the image to zoom to detail. If using a mouse click on the image to toggle zoom.
When in zoom mode use + or - keys to adjust level of image zoom.

Date:September 1964

Description:The kilns had domed roofs with a separate chimney and were called downdraught ovens. There were 8 to 10 "firemouths" around the outside of each oven used to stoke the fires. The hot gases were drawn up into the kiln and then downwards through the oven, pulled by the draught from the tall chimneys behind the kilns. These are intermittent kilns, with each firing taking up to two weeks (loading, drying, two days at firing temperature, three or four days to cool and a day to unload). Each beehive could fire about 12,000 bricks in each cycle.

Around each oven are "bonts": iron bands tightened around the ovens and used to support the brickwork and prevent warping during firing. Dampers on the roofs were used to control the oven temperature.