NS4278 : Lime-kiln ruin in upper Auchenreoch Glen

taken 9 years ago, 3 km from Bonhill, West Dunbartonshire, Great Britain

Lime-kiln ruin in upper Auchenreoch Glen
Lime-kiln ruin in upper Auchenreoch Glen
The first-edition OS map (surveyed in 1860) records many lime-kiln ruins alongside the nearby Murroch Burn. Each was annotated on that map as an "old limekiln", indicating that they had already fallen into disuse (see LinkExternal link for an index to images of those kilns).

In contrast, the particular example shown in my photo escaped the notice of the early map-makers; it does not appear on the first-edition map, or on subsequent OS maps (I have sent a report to WoSAS, notifying them of the existence of this ruin, so that it can be added to the PASTMAP database).

This kiln is set into the foot of a small ridge that slopes down to the burn (they are often built into the sides of mounds in this manner). The circular course of its wall can most clearly be seen in a view from a little higher up on the ridge: NS4278 : Lime-kiln ruin.

Limestone was burned in these kilns to produce lime for agricultural use. See LinkExternal link for one likely source of raw material for this kiln.

See the first end-note for an annotated satellite view of the kiln's location (the ruin is indicated there by a dotted violet marker).

It is worth mentioning that this site is prominently tied into the very extensive system of ancient tracks that is discussed in NS4379 : Ancient trackway; it provides further evidence that this network of tracks connects sites that were linked to the local limestone industry.

[On the satellite view, note, also, a ridge that leads SE from the site of this kiln, for a distance of about 240 metres, to the Spouts Burn. A green mound there has a similar but very irregular pit set into its southern side; that pit may be a badly-decayed lime-kiln. Traces of several other smaller mounds can also be seen there: NS4278 : Signs of former industry at the Spouts Burn; that site also appears to have been connected to the local limestone burning industry.]
Lime-kiln ruin
The pit has an internal diameter of about 3.1 metres, and the course of the kiln's walls is visible beneath the turf covering; inside the pit, on its southern side, some of the stones of the wall could be felt through small gaps in the turf. The similarity of this ruin to others that stand alongside the Murroch Burn suggests that it dates from the same period. See LinkExternal link for an annotated satellite view centred on this feature.
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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NS4278, 98 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Friday, 29 January, 2010   (more nearby)
Thursday, 4 February, 2010
Geographical Context
Rivers, Streams, Drainage  Historic sites and artefacts 
Ruin (from Tags)
Period (from Tags)
18th Century 
Place (from Tags)
Auchenreoch Glen 
Lime kilns   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 4268 7864 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:58.4935N 4:31.3577W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 4267 7862
View Direction
North-northeast (about 22 degrees)
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