The Lemington Glassworks was opened by the Northumberland Glass Company in 1787. Its four large cones were built to facilitate the making of flat glass. The cones channelled air to make the furnaces hotter. The works were well situated, with the North Wylam to Lemington Point Waggonway running close by for the supply of coal and the close proximity of the River Tyne making it easy to accrue sand, alkali, and clay for the melting pots.
In 1827 about two fifths of all English glass was made in the Tyneside area, but after a decline in the glass industry in the latter half of the 19th century, ownership passed to the General Electric Company, who then expanded the works and adapted it for the production of light bulbs and glass tubes. It continued with this type of commercial glass manufacture until it’s closure in 1997. It was then the last working glassworks of its type. All buildings except for the cone were demolished. The Lemington Cone today is an arresting local landmark and the last surviving glassworks structure on the Tyne. It stands 130 feet high was rumoured to be the largest glass cone ever built. Local legend has it that the cone was made from 1 million bricks, although 1.75 million has also been given as a figure. It is only one of four surviving glass cones in the country.