NM0449 : Remains of kelp-burning kiln near Dun Beag, Tiree

taken 1 year ago, near to Vaul, Argyll And Bute, Great Britain

Remains of kelp-burning kiln near Dun Beag, Tiree
Remains of kelp-burning kiln near Dun Beag, Tiree
In the 18th century a new industry appeared in western and northern Scotland: the burning of seaweed to make an alkaline product (kelp ash) which was used to bleach linen and to assist in the manufacture of glass and soap.

Gathering, drying and burning kelp was arduous, dirty and time-consuming. Local families burnt the weed in shallow stone-lined pits (kelp kilns), in a long process which required many hours of careful attention, and resulted in a kind of molten slag. When cooled, this was broken into lumps and stored until it could be collected by ship and transported to ports such as Oban, and thence to industrial centres in Edinburgh, Bristol or Liverpool.
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This site is recorded on Canmore: LinkExternal link

A specimen kiln, one of a group examined at Ceann A' Mhara on south Tiree, was found to be of elongated rectangular plan, and consisted simply of a shallow pit open at one end and enclosed on the other three sides by low cobble walls of rough dry-stone construction. The pit or kiln-chamber, which was also floored with loose cobbles, measured 4.4m in length by o.6m in width within walls having an average thickness of 0.6m and a height of about 0.5m. Production of kelp on Tiree had ceased by 1837.
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NM0449, 46 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Wednesday, 12 July, 2017   (more nearby)
Tuesday, 18 July, 2017
Geographical Context
Coastal  Historic sites and artefacts  Grassland  Islands  Derelict, Disused 
Primary Subject of Photo
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NM 0449 4921 [10m precision]
WGS84: 56:32.4984N 6:48.5572W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NM 04492 49213
View Direction
East-northeast (about 67 degrees)
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Image Type (about): geograph 
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