You might associate bottle kilns with the Stoke on Trent Potteries and you would be right. So you will be surprised to see – if you are walking just north of Corbridge, Northumberland, on Milkwell Lane – the remnants of a bygone local industry.
Two bottle kilns (ovens) for firing ceramics are to be found on the hillside. They were part of Walkers Fire Brick and Sanitary Tube Works and were built around 1840. Operating until about 1910.
Bricks, chimney pots and tubes were hand-moulded here and fired. You can visit these structures in the grounds of a nearby private house and see inside them.
They are Grade II listed buildings which means they are protected by law and are one of the very few remaining examples of a Tyne valley rural pottery. There are only 44 bottle kilns left in England and most are in Staffordshire.
The condition of the Corbridge kilns deteriorated but recently they have been made safe for public viewing.
To find out more about how these kilns operated click here for the Wikipedia description.
To find a map of the walk that passes the kilns on Milkwell Lane Corbridge click here.
You can also google ‘Corbridge heritage walks’ to find a rich supply of information.
Yew Tree Cottage in Broomhaugh is an easy driving distance from Corbridge.