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Lime kiln 100m east of Scales Green Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Aldingham, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.1409 / 54°8'27"N

Longitude: -3.1094 / 3°6'33"W

OS Eastings: 327620.312696

OS Northings: 472245.78995

OS Grid: SD276722

Mapcode National: GBR 6NQK.MB

Mapcode Global: WH72K.65LT

Entry Name: Lime kiln 100m east of Scales Green Farm

Scheduled Date: 6 October 2003

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021011

English Heritage Legacy ID: 35001

County: Cumbria

Civil Parish: Aldingham

Traditional County: Lancashire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Cumbria

Church of England Parish: Aldingham St Cuthbert

Church of England Diocese: Carlisle


The monument includes an 18th century lime kiln located on the southern
edge of an area of outcropping limestone pavement 100m east of Scales
Green Farm. It is a single pot draw hole type kiln which was used to burn
limestone. Typically the limestone was tipped into the kiln from the top
via the charge hole then burned using wood, coal or coke as a fuel. The
resultant quicklime, also known as birdlime or slaked lime, was then
shovelled out from the draw hole at the bottom of the kiln. Lime has many
uses including spreading on lime deficient soils to encourage plant
growth, the whitewashing of walls and ceilings of buildings, and concrete
and cement production.

The lime kiln, which is one of three different types in the vicinity, is a
rounded or barrel-fronted structure constructed of large blocks of coursed
limestone rubble and built into the hillside. Its draw hole, also known as
a fire hole, has corbelled-in jambs with a large flat lintel above. The
charge hole, which measures about 2m in diameter, is fully lined with
small dressed fire bricks. A flattened surface above the kiln and to the
rear of the charge hole is known as the charging platform. It was used to
hold small amounts of limestone which were awaiting burning.

The lime kiln is a Listed Building Grade II.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Limestone or chalk has been the basic ingredient for lime mortar from at
least Roman times. Since the medieval period, lime has also been used as
agricultural fertiliser and, since the early 19th century, widely used in
a variety of other industries: as a flux in blast furnaces, in the
production of gas and oil, and in the chemical, pharmaceutical and food
The lime industry is defined as the processes of preparing and producing
lime by burning and slaking. The basic raw material for producing lime is
limestone or chalk: when burnt at high temperature (roasted or calcined),
these rocks release carbon dioxide, leaving `quicklime' which, by chemical
reaction when mixed with water (`slaking'), can be turned into a stable
powder - lime. Lime burning sites varied in scale from individual small
lime kilns adjacent to a quarry, to large-scale works designed to operate
commercially for an extended market and often associated with long
distance water or rail transport. Lime burning as an industry displays
well-developed regional characteristics, borne out by the regional styles
of East Anglia, West Gloucestershire or Derbyshire.
The form of kilns used for lime burning evolved throughout the history of
the industry, from small intermittent clamp and flare kilns, to large
continuously fired draw kilns that could satisfy increased demand from
urban development, industrial growth and agricultural improvement.
Small-scale rural lime production continued in the later 19th and 20th
centuries, but this period of the industry is mainly characterised by
large-scale production and the transfer of technologies from the cement
and other industries. The demand for mortars grew steadily during the 19th
and 20th centuries. The successful production of mortars made with
artificial cement represented an economic challenge to lime production and
gradually replaced the use of lime mortars in major construction and
engineering projects.
From a highly selective sample made at national level, around 200 lime
industry sites have been defined as being of national importance. These
have been defined to represent the industry's chronological depth,
technological breadth and regional diversity.

The lime kiln 100m east of Scales Green Farm survives well and is a good
example of an 18th century draw kiln. Taken together with two other kilns
of differing form in the near vicinity, both of which are the subject of
separate schedulings, it displays the development of lime kiln design and
technology during the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Scales Green lime kilns, Ulverston, (2000)
Keates, A C, 'Cumbria Industrial History Society' in Scales Green 1, (1995)
DOE, List of Buildings of Historic & Architectural Interest,

Source: Historic England

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