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KIMMERIDGE ALUM WORKS

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An alum works and an associated group of jetties and breakwaters, situated on a natural enclosure of Bituminous shale along the coast of Kimmeridge. The monument is located in Kimmeridge Bay with the remains of other multi-period industrial remains which include Early Iron Age to Romano-British salt works and a post medieval glass works. Later, Sir William Clavell established a successful alum works which operated from 1605, although it closed following an alleged breach of monopoly in 1618. An inventory of 1617 records the presence of two alum houses and the possible stone foundations of these have been identified along the foreshore, buried beneath the accumulated waste deposits of later industries. Shale quarries are also present behind the coastal cliff. Archaeological survey has recorded an extensive and well stratified sequence of industrial deposits relating to the alum industry, including burnt shale, slag and other deposits, all lying to the south of the shale quarries. The foreshore is known to support a sequence of timber and stone-built jetties and breakwaters. At least two tramways were built down to the jetties to enable the export of industrial products by sea. During the 19th century oil was extracted for a time from the shale. The site is now scheduled.

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