NS4278 : Possible lime-kiln ruin at the Spouts Burn

taken 8 years ago, 3 km from Bonhill, West Dunbartonshire, Great Britain

Possible lime-kiln ruin at the Spouts Burn
Possible lime-kiln ruin at the Spouts Burn
A large green mound appears at the bottom of the image (it is also shown in the background of NS4278 : Mounds beside the Spouts Burn, and in NS4278 : Mound beside the Spouts Burn). It has an obvious irregular pit in its side.

Given the nature of the site as a whole (see NS4278 : Mounds beside the Spouts Burn), it is reasonable to suppose that this pit is a ruined lime-kiln, although it is more decayed than most examples in the area. The pit is less regularly circular than in those other ruins, but it is still possible to feel some stones in the sides of the pit, through the turf. In this photograph, some stones can also be seen in the pit; these may be from the wall of the kiln.

Nearby, there is a better-preserved example, presenting a more typical appearance: NS4278 : Lime-kiln ruin. The situation is similar in each case; the pit is set in the side of a green knoll beside a burn. In the present photograph, the possible ruin is beside NS4278 : The Spouts Burn.

The limestone burning industry flourished here in the eighteenth century (see LinkExternal link for references). The ruins of several lime-kilns can be seen in the wider area (see LinkExternal link for my gallery of these).

Lime-kilns are to be found near burns, because, after the stone had been burned for days on end, a ready water supply was needed for the slaking process. The kilns were situated well away from habitations for a number of reasons: they produced a great deal of smoke; they produced a strong, unpleasant smell; and, in some cases, the slaking process was extremely noisy (as mentioned in NS4178 : Cementstone nodule in Auchenreoch Glen).
Mounds beside the Spouts Burn
Alongside this part of the Spouts Burn, there is a single large green mound, with a hollow that is probably a lime-kiln ruin, and several similar but much smaller mounds; the latter are arranged in pairs, with one on each side of the burn, and they may be the remains of clamp-kilns. See LinkExternal link for an annotated satellite view centred on this area. If associated with nearby cornstone quarrying (see LinkExternal link for details), these signs of former industry probably date from the eighteenth century.
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
Tuesday, 19 April, 2011   (more nearby)
Thursday, 5 May, 2011
Geographical Context
Historic sites and artefacts 
Place (from Tags)
The Spouts Burn 
Period (from Tags)
18th Century 
Ruin (from Tags)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 4285 7848 [10m precision]
WGS84: 55:58.4107N 4:31.1888W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NS 4285 7849
View Direction
Southwest (about 225 degrees)
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Other Tags
Limestone Industry  Archaeology 

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