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Barrington Chimney Demolition

21 December 2018

Barrington has long been an important manufacturer of bricks and cement; there were already four brick-makers by the 1840s. The Prime family opened the Shepreth road brickworks by 1876 which changed hands several times over the 20th century as it grew in size. [1] At the northern end of the village was the Cemex cement works which closed in 2008. [2][3]

On Thursday December 20th the iconic Barrington chimney was demolished as part of a series of works that will see the former Cemex cement works site transformed into a new community by leading housebuilder Redrow.

Demolition contractors Erith carried out the controlled detonation in the South Cambridgeshire village of Barrington, with the 56m high chimney coming down at 9.05am.

Redrow is seeking to deliver up to 220 new homes on the former industrial land and has lodged a reserved matters application with South Cambridgeshire District Council [4]. The homes will be set within areas of public open space and include new parkland and pedestrian and cycle routes to Barrington village and Foxton station. Two-thirds of the site will be dedicated to formal and informal landscaping, opening up the site to Barrington residents for the first time. Demolition works will continue into 2019, with Redrow’s application due to be determined early in the New Year.

As part of the environmental impact control Erith commissioned their sister company Swantest to monitor the noise, vibration and dust during the detonation of the chimney. The 58-year-old chimney was toppled by Erith with explosives creating a perfect forward drop. 

Environmental monitors were installed on the north, east, south and west boundaries of site to measure the impact of the demolition in the environment. Swantest choose Campbell Associates to supply our Sonitus Cloud solution, using our Aeroqaul Dust Sentry for Mcerts PM10 monitoring, our AVA Trace M80 for vibration monitoring and our Sonitus Systems EM2030 Noise Monitor

Please find some amazing aerial footage of the blast [5].




  1. A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely. 5. 1973. pp. 147–160.
  2. A. D. Mills (2003). "A Dictionary of British Place-Names".
  3. "CEMEX proposes to turn off cement kiln at Barrington".
  5. Filmed & composed | Anthony Brown. Soundtrack by: Kooma | Eyes Wide Open | Trigger EP One demo angle filmed | Roel van Oirschot

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