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


Heritage Category: Scheduled Monument

List Entry Number: 1021013

Date first listed: 06-Oct-2003


Ordnance survey map of Lime kiln and associated lime shed 680m south east of Scales Green Farm
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County: Cumbria

District: South Lakeland (District Authority)

Parish: Aldingham

National Grid Reference: SD 28104 71859


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

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. 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.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


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 production.

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.

MAP EXTRACT 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.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 35003

Legacy System: RSM


Books and journals
Scales Green lime kilns, Ulverston, (2000)
Keates, A C, 'Cumbria Industrial History Society' in Scales Green, (1995)

End of official listing