Report - - Shipton on Cherwell cement works - March 2012 | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

Report - Shipton on Cherwell cement works - March 2012


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
Shipton on Cherwell cement works

On the face of it this seemed like a lot of work, time, effort and money for a mostly demolished cement works in the middle of nowhere. The fact of the matter is that both myself and Mookster were bored out of our heads and needed an escape from the monotony for a bit. It actually turned out to be a really nice day, lunch in the brilliant local pub overlooking the canal and some pretty easy (if slightly comical) access.
Some history:

In the 1920s the Oxford and Shipton Cement Company built a cement works beside the main railway line and began quarrying limestone from the hillside between the Woodstock branch line and Bunker's Hill. The quarry was bought by Alpha Cement in 1934 which became part of Associated Portland Cement in 1938, which in turn became Blue Circle Industries in 1978. Towards the end of the 20th century the quarry ceased production and was sold to the Kilbride Group, which applied unsuccessfully to redevelop it as an eco-town.

The quarry is protected as a Site of Special Scientific Interest because it is important for Jurassic fossils, particularly crocodiles. Since quarrying ceased, the site has also become important for wildlife. Birds including turtle dove, little ringed plover, Cetti's warbler and peregrine falcon breed in the quarry. A lake has formed in the bottom of the quarry, attracting birds including green sandpiper, jack snipe, little grebe and common pochard to overwinter there. The site also attracts invertebrates including damselflies.
The present day site is pretty much 90% demolished. a few buildings remain across the quarry. It makes for a nice relaxed explore once you're out of the view of the quarry workers (we did this on a Saturday morning so there was some activity, but not enough to be cause for concern). Strangely there was evidence of recent pikey activity with a few rolls of bright copper wire scattered around the site, although other than that this place is pretty much dead.

Some photographs, sorry in advance if some are at similar angles to Mookster's - there are only a finite number of ways to photograph big lumps of concrete!


It seems some people have spent a lot of time on graffiti here - there was evidence of rollers and paint pots


Painted in a very dark part of the cement works - how he did it I don't know!


Mmmm concrete porn.


The Graffiti Artists were not the only ones armed with paint on the site!


There are still a few bits in situ - anything of value was stolen years ago.


Some more machinery - gives an insight of what this site once did.


Made in England!


These pipes were one of the biggest structures here - only outshone by the big chimney which overlooks it.


The chimney in the background, unfortunately I don't have a wide angle lens, and couldn't fit under the fence to get it from the base!


The big metal shed, completely stripped apart from a few big lumps of concrete. The most interesting feature was an empty pack of Fujifilm Instamax film!


As said above, very little left of this place.


One last look at the chimney.


And finally, a look back over the site. To think the size it once was and the sheer diameter of the quarry that it processed. Ironic how the only remnants are made from the same material it was designed to make.

Thanks a lot guys. Cheers to Mookster for the trip it was most enjoyable. Plenty of clunge out in Oxford on a sunny day too! :D

Comments, criticisms and blatant slagging offs welcome!