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The entrepeneur, George Frean main focus must have been the setting up of a Cement Works near the existing Lime Kilns by the mouth of the River Char and the sea. His sister, Anna Frean had married Michael Morcom, described as a merchant at Plymouth in 1836. They were to have ten children. One of whom - George Frean Morcom was to later reside in Los Angles and become world famous as an Ornithologist. But in 1851, the family are living at St Agnes in Cornwall and Michael is described as a Mine Agent. No doubt with a background in quarrying the Morcoms would be ideal for running a Cement Factory for George. By January 7 th , 1863 the building we see today had been finished by the local builders, Pryers and a later auction catalogue reveals that Mr. Morcom of Plymouth had a 21 year lease and was paying £100 a year rent for a Cement Mill, a Stone and Slated Building, with two floors, lean to, and two kilns. On top of the rent there were royalties of 1s 6d per ton on Cement,1s per ton on unmanufactured Stone,1s per ton on Manganese, and 2s per 1000 on all Bricks,Tiles and other like articles manufactured by the Lessee. But sadly the business never took off and may well have contributed to George Frean`s decision to sell his Estate to John Hawkshaw on January 1 1864 for £6000. This was precisely 10 years from the day he had bought his property in Charmouth from the Liddons. So ended an interesting chapter in Charmouth`s history which few people would be aware of . It does explain why the Cement Works came to be built. In its day, a white elephant due to its size, but now an important resource for the promotion of the Town.
The Factory was built for grinding the lime stones found on the beach for the manufacture of cement. It consisted of a large room facing east with double doors and a small office just inside on the left. Opposite the entrance was a doorway leading into the engine room and to the "boiler room. The engine was a small beam engine with a large fly wheel, by the side of which was another door leading to a room containing machinery, which is now used for storing deck chairs in winter, There were two other compartments, probably store rooms, one with a door by the side of that leading to the engine room and the other with an entrance from the yard outside on the west side* Opposite this door and built into the west cliff were two lime kilns. The boiler room had a tall chimney, which for many years was a very useful guide for fishermen for locating their fishing grounds. There were no doors or windows facing the sea,, The two store rooms are now part of the beach cafe. The upper floor was reached by outside stone steps in the N.W. corner - since demolished - and by an inside wooden ladder. The machinery was mounted on firm foundations probably used for grinding."The stones were brought to the kilns by horse and cart and smaller stones, known as washers were collected by women. There were two women to a basket and they received 3d a basket, and they did very well especially after a S.W. gale when tons of Washers were brought by the gale quite close to the factory. The basket held 40 lbs.
There is no record that it was ever worked again.For several years it remained derelict. Fishermen kept their boats and lobster pots in winter in the large room. Boy Scouts made it their Head Quarters and the upper floor was used for a miniature rifle range. The roof lost many slates and at one time the store room, which is now the cafe, was open to the skies. The engine and what remained of the machinery were removed in or about 1920. It remained Manor property until it was sold to Charmouth Parish Council with the foreshore in 1938.