Ancient Monuments

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Lime kiln and associated lime shed 680m south east of Scales Green Farm

A Scheduled Monument in Aldingham, Cumbria

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Latitude: 54.1376 / 54°8'15"N

Longitude: -3.1019 / 3°6'6"W

OS Eastings: 328103.799729

OS Northings: 471865.936506

OS Grid: SD281718

Mapcode National: GBR 6NSL.7K

Mapcode Global: WH72K.B84D

Entry Name: Lime kiln and associated lime shed 680m south east of Scales Green Farm

Scheduled Date: 6 October 2003

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1021013

English Heritage Legacy ID: 35003

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 a late 18th/early 19th century lime kiln and
associated lime shed located on the southern edge of an outcropping
limestone pavement 680m south east of Scales Green Farm. It is a single
pot draw hole type kiln which was used to burn limetone.

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

The lime kiln, which is one of three different types in the vicinity, is a
flat-fronted structure approximately 4.5m high which is constructed of
large blocks of coursed limestone rubble and is built into the hillside.
Its draw arch which leads to the draw hole, also known as a fire hole,
measures approximately 2m wide by 3m high. The charge hole, which is
partly choked with scrub and rubbish, is reportedly lined with fire
bricks. Th hole is contained within a small enclosure formed by the later
addition of a low drystone wall which connects with the north west and
south east outer walls of the lime kiln. Attached to the front of the kiln
is a single-storey lime shed originally used as a shelter over the kiln
drawing arch to protect lime from the elements. It is built of blocks of
coursed limestone rubble, with a sloping roof of corrugated iron, and an
entrance on its south western side.

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 680m south east of Scales Green Farm survives well. It is a
good example of a late 18th/early 19th century draw kiln and is a rare
example in north west England of a lime kiln complete with surviving
associate lime shed. 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, (1995)

Source: Historic England

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