Lime kiln 365m NNW of Landcross Bridge.
Reasons for Designation
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 industries. 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. 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. Despite re-use as a boathouse and the capping of the actual kiln tops, the lime kiln 365m NNW of Landcross Bridge survives well and retains many of its original features. It is striking in appearance having been given a ‘romantic’ gothic and mock medieval façade, the fashion during the Victorian era, which aimed to give such features a less industrialised and utilitarian aspect, despite the fact that such a location is entirely practical for transportation, commercial and logistic reasons.
This record was the subject of a minor enhancement on 17 November 2015. This record has been generated from an "old county number" (OCN) scheduling record. These are monuments that were not reviewed under the Monuments Protection Programme and are some of our oldest designation records.
This monument includes a 19th century lime kiln situated on the western bank of the River Torridge. The lime kiln survives as a rectangular roughly dressed masonry structure with two brick edged high pointed arches either side of a central round headed arched passage, two circular kiln pots, a crenellated wall around the kiln top, a rear charging ramp and a small quay . The draw for the kilns was provided by arches on either side of the central passage and also from the north and south. The kilns were charged via a masonry ramp adjoining the west side which was attached with a half arch enabling free movement behind the kilns. The central passage retains iron rails in-situ which leads to a small riverside quay. The platform on which the kilns are constructed has retaining walls to the north and south and an access road for the removal of lime by cart and there are the possible remains of a small lime-burner’s shelter in the south west corner. The central arch has been rendered and re-used as a boathouse and the kilns have been capped with concrete.