NS4380 : Ruined lime-kiln

taken 9 years ago, near to Blairquhomrie, West Dunbartonshire, Great Britain

Ruined lime-kiln
Ruined lime-kiln
At this point, a rectangular pit is set into the foot of a NNE-facing slope. The pit is 10 metres wide, and extends back for about 4 metres into the slope; it is therefore enclosed on three of its sides, but is open along its northern side.

A later photo, taken when the bracken had died back, shows the overall structure much more clearly: NS4380 : Remains of large rectangular lime-kiln; see that item for an indication of the kind of activities that might have taken place here.

Standing in the gap on the northern side are two structures made of red sandstone. The eastern structure of the pair is shown in this photo. It is oval, and measures, at its widest, 2 metres across.

When this photo was taken, I'd just been examining another pit, located only 40 metres to the south, which now contains a pool: NS4380 : Pool (in a former limestone quarry). That led me to explore the surrounding area, and to discover these ruins among the bracken.

Since their online archaeology database had no record of any structures here, I reported the details of this find to WoSAS, mentioning my suspicion that this structure was a ruined lime-kiln, and that the site of the pool mentioned above was once a limestone quarry.

The helpful contact at WoSAS was able to confirm these identifications, noting that a first-edition OS map attests to the former presence of a lime-kiln and quarry here, and that these were already derelict by the mid-nineteenth century, when the map was made. Later investigations revealed that, about 14 years before my own visit, the area had already been noted for its cornstone workings by the respected naturalist John Mitchell (his article is therefore cited in the end-note, below).

[In addition, the booklet "Off the Main Road" (I.M.M.MacPhail, 1976) mentions that "just to the north of NS4480 : The Lang Dyke, which is a geological, not a man-made dyke, may be seen the site of old lime-kilns, marked by bright green knolls". This is probably another reference to the same site, rather than to the more distant NS4381 : Remains of lime-kiln.]

For the western structure of the pair, see NS4380 : Ruined lime-kiln: detail.

For further indications of former quarrying activity in this area, see NS4480 : Crescent-shaped pit and NS4380 : Pit (former limestone quarrying).

Another former lime-kiln site had been identified on this moor: NS4381 : Remains of lime-kiln.
Remains of lime-kiln
In the article "Old Cornstone Workings in Dunbartonshire and West Stirlingshire, with Notes on their Associated Flora" ("Glasgow Naturalist", Volume 22(5), 1995, pp485-494), naturalist John Mitchell lists the locations of ten cornstone workings. The ruins shown here appear to be part of site number five on his list: "Merkins Muir", described as having "kilns present".
Network of old limestone industry tracks :: NS4379
A very extensive network of ancient tracks on the moors in West Dunbartonshire links old quarries, ruined lime-kilns, and other sites connected with the local limestone-burning industry, which flourished in the 18th century. See LinkExternal link for a Geograph article about the network, and LinkExternal link for an annotated satellite view of it.
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NS4380, 44 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Tuesday, 7 July, 2009   (more nearby)
Wednesday, 22 July, 2009
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts 
Ruin (from Tags)
Period (from Tags)
18th Century 
Lime kilns   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 4398 8077 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:59.6661N 4:30.1832W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 4399 8077
View Direction
WEST (about 270 degrees)
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