Coke Ovens at Inkerman Farm
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County Council (Unitary)
Durham County Council
North West Durham
SE115115 (411513, 539947)
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The ruins and buried remains of part of the Inkerman coke works, including two virtually intact beehive coke ovens. It forms part of what was once a far more extensive coal mining landscape which is now largely cleared and landscaped. The remains of a separate double bank of 21 beehive coke ovens run parallel on the west side of the two virtually intact ovens. These range in condition from nearly complete to fragmentary. The Weardale Iron and Coal Company opened the Inkerman colliery in 1853 amd immediately began coke production from 20 ovens built at that time. In 1875 the number was increased to 50 ovens built in two rows. After 1880 the site was operated by a succession of companies. The coke ovens were used for brick production in their later years, but had become disused before World War I. Following clousre in 1969 the colliery, including most of the ovens, was cleared and landscaped. The beehive coke ovens consist of brick built domes measuring 3.35 metres in diameter by 2.29 metres high internally. The retaining wall and part of the earthen insulation has been removed from some of the ovens revealing their construction. The remains of small top central holes and back flue openings survive particularly well and provide evidence of the technological process involved in coke production using the beehive oven design. Part of the front retaining wall and doorways, which are of dressed masonry construction, survive. Scheduled.
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