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Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 926027

Hob Uid: 926027
Location :
Devon
North Devon
Brendon and Countisbury
Grid Ref : SS7466048630
Summary : A block of two contigous disused lime kilns of differing designs.
More information : SS 74 NW 29 Lime Kilns (Disused)

SS 7466 4863. A block of two contiguous lime kilns set at the bottom of steep wooded slopes 2m above the south bank of the East Lyn River about 200m E of Watersmeet House.

These kilns are shown on the Ordanance Survey map dated 1888 (1) adjacent to a quarry in Barton Wood. They are depicted as a single building with two circular bowls and annotated "Old Limekilns". The kilns served the Watersmeet Eastate (2) and are untypically for this area of North Devon, located inland. They were used in the early 1800's with limestone brought from the Gower Peninsula in South Wales which was transported to the site by packhorse and mule. The limestone was converted to quicklime for use on the estate land and as mortar for building (3). It is not known when they went out of use. The kilns are constructed of coarsed sandstone rubble, probably from the quarry to the immediate south. They have been partially restored and are a Listed Grade II site (4). (1-4)

The NE kiln is circular, about 5.3m in diameter and 3.7m high. It has two lobbies, one on the W and one on the N, each 2.2m wide, 2.6m deep and 2.2m high. Its central combustion chamber, or pot, is 3.1m in diameter and 2.1m deep and has, rather unusually, a chimney stack built into its NE side which rises some 2.7m above the kiln base and 0.6m above the top of the kiln. The chimney is accessed from the rear of the N lobby.

The SW kiln is rectangular, about 6.3m NE/SW, and is set into the slope for about 7.5m. It is 5.5m high at the front and has an arched oval lobby, or draw hole, 2.8m wide and 2.1m high, on the SW side. The corbelled lobby roof tapers inwards for 3.6m and the rear wall contains a rectangular grate hole, 0.6m square, 0.6m above the floor level. The poking hole 0.3m high, 0.2m wide is 1.5m above the ground. The central combustion chamber is 3.4m diameter across its top and 4m deep.

The space between the two kilns is occupied by steps and there is a narrow working platform around the northern side and an access loading ramp on the SE side.

The distinctive designs of the two kilns suggests that they are of slightly different (unknown) dates. It is possible that the circular kiln is the oldest. Its smaller combustion chamber suggests that it may have become inadequate and the rectangular kiln with its larger chamber (twice the volume) was then built alongside it to hold more limestone. The chimney may have been added to the circular kiln at this later stage.

Published survey 1:2500 accepted. (5)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : OS 1888 1:2500 Devon Sheet 3:14
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Source Number : 2
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : Keene P & Elsom D, 1990 Lyn in Flood - Watersmeet to Lynmouth 26
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Source Number : 3
Source : VIRTUAL CATALOGUE ENTRY TO SUPPORT NAR MIGRATION
Source details : National Trust Inf. board on site
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Source Number : 4
Source : Externally held archive reference
Source details : Devon County SMR SS 74 NW 207 16-FEB-93
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Source Number : 5
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : Sainsbury I S, 16-JUN-94, RCHME Field Investigation
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Source : Valley of Rocks
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Source : Valley of Rocks/ink survey
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Source : Valley of Rocks/pencil survey
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Post Medieval
Monument End Date : 1901
Monument Start Date : 1540
Monument Type : Lime Kiln
Evidence : Structure

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Devonshire)
External Cross Reference Number : SS74NW207
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SS 74 NW 29
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Related Warden Records :
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