Bellmanpark lime kilns and part of an associated tramway 180m north west of Bellman Farm


Heritage Category:
Scheduled Monument
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:


Ordnance survey map of Bellmanpark lime kilns and part of an associated tramway 180m north west of Bellman Farm
© Crown Copyright and database right 2019. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100024900.
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Ribble Valley (District Authority)
National Grid Reference:
SD 75877 43388

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.

Despite being partly scrub-covered, Bellmanpark lime kilns and part of an associated tramway 180m north west of Bellman Farm survive well. The kilns are a rare example of a bank of railside lime kilns which provided access for railway wagons and still retain, surviving in situ, direct loading facilities from the kilns into the wagons. Together with part of the associated tramway the monument remains a good example of the late 19th century lime producing industry characteristic of the local region.


The monument includes the upstanding remains of Bellmanpark lime kilns and an approximate 90m length of associated tramway, embankment and bridge abutment along which lime was transported from Bellmanpark Quarry to the lime kilns, together with the buried remains of a trestle bridge which stood between the lime kilns and the northern end of the tramway embankment. It is located on the north side of Chatburn Road 180m north west of Bellman Farm.

The limeworks were opened in about 1869 by James Carter and William Rowe. The bank of lime kilns were constructed in 1877 adjacent to the Chatburn to Blackburn railway line, and the tramway, or `chain road' as it also known, was built at the same time. Carter and Rowe's partnership split in 1879 with the former retaining the works. In addition to lime burning Carters also supplied tarmacadam and roadstone. James Carter & Sons ceased trading in 1960 and the quarries were taken over by Richard Briggs and Sons Limited, although little further stone was worked.

The lime kilns consist of a massive rectangular bank of four draw kilns up to 15m high. It is constructed of limestone blocks which encase four firebrick-lined bottle-shaped furnaces with architectural features such as arches built of brick. Beneath the bank of kilns are two partly infilled tunnels through each of which ran a railway branch line from the adjacent main Chatburn - Blackburn line. Limestone was carried from the quarry in small trucks along the tramway then across a trestle bridge onto the top of the bank of kilns. The trucks were driven and controlled by a hawser cable powered by a static engine which was situated on top of the kiln. From here the stone was then tipped down charge holes into the kilns and burned using wood, coal or coke as a fuel. Once burned the resultant quicklime, also known as birdlime or slaked lime, travelled directly from the kilns down wooden shutes which still survive in situ, into waiting railway wagons prior to being transported away. 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 tramway embankment terminates at a stone bridge abutment which carries a modern box girder bridge across the road. This modern bridge is not included within the scheduling.

All fences and fence posts are excluded from the scheduling although the ground beneath these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.


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

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Bellmanpark Lime Works, (1999)


This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

End of official listing

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