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Report - - Blackpool China Clay Quarry & Refinery - June 2021 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Blackpool China Clay Quarry & Refinery - June 2021


Slyspark

28DL Member
28DL Member
Firstly, despite being called 'Blackpool' China Clay Quarry & Refinery, it is in fact nowhere near Blackpool. This is in Cornwall.

Closed in November 2007 and left derelict since, the site is now in the process of being demolished, so only just caught this in time. Sadly, the main building had already gone, all that remained of that is a large pile of broken concrete, with an excavator sat on top. Luckily, some of the smaller buildings (all be it stripped of their asbestos roofs) and all of the settling tanks remain, so still an interesting explore, however, I would have liked to have seen inside the main refinery building. Unsure what is to become of the site - I had read there was an application in place to use it for landfill, but I don't know if this has been approved or not.

The site is spread over a huge area, mostly now occupied my a massive lake, left in the pit from which the china clay was extracted. There are many settling tanks spread around the site, some clearly out of use for decades, others which appear to be more recent, these are huge! A number of pump houses, sub-stations and smaller plant rooms remain, tho these are largely stripped of equipment, some items do remain. It does appear that the scrappers have done the rounds as most of the cable has vanished, even from the overhead lines.

I'm unsure as to when this particular pit or refinery opened, there seems to be very little information about it online, I couldn't even find any pictures anyone else had taken - so enjoy!

NOTE: Pictures were taken on both my DSLR and phone. It was starting to get dark before having finished exploring, so some pictures are better quality than others and due to the 2 devices, probably not in order - sorry about that!



908048

Pump room, minus it's roof


908050

Felled lighting tower - presumably to keep the kids from climbing it. loads of these around the site


908051

A view over one of the larger settling tanks, to the highest point on the site. The wind turbine is the only thing here that is still operational.


908053

Electrical substation & switchgear


908054

From the highest point on the site, looking over the upper level of settling tanks


908055

Note the spoil heap to the RHS of the wind turbine. These give this part of Cornwall it's alternative name 'The Cornish Alps'


908056

A long redundant mixing tank


908057

Some kind of centrifugal seperator



908058

A look over the site from the high point - this is a tiny fraction of the refinery workings, it;s absolutely huge!


908059

Another felled lighting mast - loads of these around, all ripped down, presumably to stop anyone climbing and then falling from them


908060

The pit from which the china clay, processed at this site was extracted - believed to be destined for landfill!


908061

Former main refinery building complex - sadly already demolished


908062

Older, smaller refinerey building, stripped of it's asbestos roof, awaiting the wrecking ball.


908063

Smaller refinery building - awaiting demolition


908064

Danger of..... ....EVERYTHING!

908065

Back when stuff was built to last!


908066

Smaller refinery building complex


908067

Remains of equipment within the smaller refinery building


908068

Remains of equipment within the smaller refinery building


908069

Electrical switchgear


908070

Now devoid of it's asbestos roof, this building's days are numbered!


908072

Some of the older tanks, further down the site


908073

The only building still largely intact - this seemed to be storing several boats - possibly used for maintaining the pumps which still run to maintain the water level in the partially flooded quarry.


908074

Older tanks, right at the bottom of the site


908075

Electrical equipment in an inaccessible pump room - had to point the camera through a high up window, along with a torch to get a look inside


908076

Nature reclaims everything. The Rhododendrons are slowly swallowing up this downed lighting tower


908077

The relay and breaker box for one of the huge lighting masts


908078

One of the many settling tanks


908079

A huge air vessel, ripped from it's pad (on which I'm standing) to give the demo crew access to the building behind


908080

Electrical switchgear in one of the pump rooms. Note the welded mesh over the windows. Every single door and window in the place had this stuff bolted over it, so access to a lot of the interior simply wasn't possible, unless low enough to climb in through the missing roof.
 
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Slyspark

28DL Member
28DL Member
A few more which wouldn't fit in the main report above!

908376

Storage silo, presumably for the finished product. All the metal staircases and ladders had been cut off well above the ground, so not possible sadly to get up to look inside.


908377

Stripped switchgear - looks like someone has stripped the place for scrap, sadly not unusual to see


908378

Anything that could be smashed, generally was smashed


908379

A long out-of-use mixing tank. Some areas of the site looked like they went out of use, long before the 2007 closure. Presumably these were replaced by the larger, more modern tanks further up the site


908380

Rusting away electrical cabinet, cables stripped for scrap


908381

One of the older, smaller mixing tanks, long out of use


908382

Another building, devoid of it's asbestos. Note the security measures on the windows!
 

Bikin Glynn

28DL Regular User
Regular User
Really decent report there, with a good write up & pics.
Lots of this sort of thing in Cornwall, they often make a pleasant explore
 

Bikin Glynn

28DL Regular User
Regular User
This one is just a stones throw from there, not sure if u found it.
 

Slyspark

28DL Member
28DL Member
This one is just a stones throw from there, not sure if u found it.
Certainly did, tho an explore for another day. Just over the road from Blackpool Refinery is the disused rail loading terminal, altho it looks like Imerys security maintain their main security office on the site, so not sure how accessible it actually is?. Also a future visit, provided they're not on some mass demolition campaign for all their disused clay works in the area. The Goonbarrow Refinery isn't far either, but I'm told this is also currently being demolished, so looks like I've missed that one.
 

Terminal Decline

28DL Regular User
Regular User
It looks like Imerys security maintain their main security office on the site, so not sure how accessible it actually is? Also a future visit, provided they're not on some mass demolition campaign for all their disused clay works in the area. The Goonbarrow Refinery isn't far either, but I'm told this is also currently being demolished, so looks like I've missed that one.
The huge dryers to the south are worth a look, though virtually all the machinery has long gone, so the buildings are just shells really.
It's been 7 months since I last visited Goonbarrow refinery, the main processing building is bound to have gone by now, but I'm sure many of the refining tanks will still remain.
 

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