The Old Cement Works Ruins - Warkworth, North Island, New Zealand
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member No Fixed Aboder
S 36° 24.537 E 174° 40.900
60H E 292121 N 5968194
Quick Description: The Old Cement Works is registered as a category I with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.
Location: North Island, New Zealand
Date Posted: 8/27/2010 1:28:53 PM
Waymark Code: WM9JX8
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member BarbershopDru
Views: 3

Long Description:
The brooding ruins of the old lime and cement works on the banks of the Mahurangi River are among the most important industrial archaeological sites in New Zealand.

From his first kiln built in 1866, Nathaniel Wilson, with brothers James and John, expanded the fledgling Warkworth business into a large conglomeration of kilns, boilerhouses and chimneys, producing the lime and cement that went into many landmark structures and buildings throughout New Zealand and Australia.

Cement production was phased out from 1918 after a company merger and all work stopped on the site in 1928. But, in the company's heyday a century ago, 180 men worked shifts quarrying and crushing limestone which was then mixed with clay, fired at a high temperature and ground into the fine powder of Portland cement.

It was not the ravages of time, wind and rain that reduced the cement works to ruins so speedily. The local Home Guard carried out a demolition exercise during the Second World War, assisted by American forces. Concerns for public safety, and the removal of bricks and concrete by the local council for road fill, caused further destruction.

When Warkworth residents Neil and Diane Dixon bought the land and ruins 25 years ago, the site was a popular spot for picnicking, exploring the ruins and swimming in the deep, water-filled quarry hole. It still is although these days there's a gate charge to enter the grounds.

Neil Dixon, whose great-grandfather served on the Rodney Roads Board at the same time as Nathaniel Wilson, says the cement works and surrounding land were kept open to the public in response to requests from locals and the Rodney County Council.

Now the ruins are about to pass into public ownership, thanks partly to the generosity of Warkworth resident and member of the Wilson family Vida Wilson, who donated a substantial portion of the purchase price to the council.
Type: Ruin

Fee: 5.00

Daily 10am - 6pm

Related URL: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:
Original photographs showing additional views of the Ruin/Remnant or even just its current condition are encouraged. Please describe your visit, especially if no additional photos are available. Did you like the Ruin or Remnant? What prompted you to see the Ruin or Remnant?
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