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HER Number:MDV19384
Name:Lime Kilns, Incline and Storage Yard at New Quay


Three 18th century limekilns at New Quay with three large storage bays and a bread oven.


Grid Reference:SX 454 696
Map Sheet:SX46NE
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishGulworthy
DistrictWest Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishTAVISTOCK

Protected Status

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SX46NE/538/4
  • Old Listed Building Ref (II): 511848

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • LIME KILN (XVIII to XXI - 1701 AD to 2009 AD (Between))
  • OVEN (Constructed, XIX - 1850 AD to 1850 AD (Between))

Full description

Minchinton, W. E., 1976, Industrial Archaeology in Devon (Monograph). SDV7016.

Gaskell-Brown, C., 1980, Untitled Source, 33-7 (Monograph). SDV242404.

The central feature of New Quay is the limekiln with the inclined plane, water-wheel pit, and storage yards. The kiln is of random rubble with two brick-headed access arches and stone buttresses. More than one period of construction with a straight joint in the face of the kiln. Probably first built 1774 and repaired 1850. Storage yards above and to the east for the storage of lime and culm. Rubble ramp leads from waterfront to upper level of limekiln (see PRN 72692) which originally supported a tramway with iron rails. Trucks pulled by water- powered winch system based on a water wheel in the wheelpit supplied by the leat. The kiln was worked from 1774 to 1914 by various lessees now in bad condition. Other details: Plans, sketch.

NMR, 1982, SX46NE23 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV265602.

Gaskell Brown , C. + Coleman-Smith, R., 1982, The Archaeology of New Quay, Devon, 138-40; Figure 8, Drawing D. (Article in Serial). SDV336506.

Griffith, F., 1988, Devon's Past. An Aerial View, 111 (Monograph). SDV64198.

Mills, R. + Murrell, D. + Vandenbossche, P. + Watts, S., 1997, An Archaeological Assessment of the East Side of the River Tamar between Calstock and Gunnislake (Undergraduate Dissertation). SDV242446.

Lancaster University Archaeological Unit, 1997, Lime, Cement and Plaster Industries, Site Number 3 (Worksheet). SDV241175.

Site Number 3 (SX 455 690).
Site visit on 4th February 1997. Description: Large Impressive bank of limekilns dating in part from 1774. Action: Schedule or list at Grade II*.

Lancaster University Archaeological Unit, 1997, MPP Lime, Cement and Plaster Industries: Step 3- Introduction to site assessments, Site Number 3, Appendix 3, 2. (Report - non-specific). SDV357966.

Site Number 3 (SX 455 690).
New Quay lime kilns. Post-medieval. Site of clear national importance/ Site of national importance.

Chitty, G., 2001, Lime, Cement and Plaster Industries, Monument Protection Programme, Step 4 Report, Site 3 (Article in Serial). SDV362968.

New scheduling recommended.

Buck, C., 2003, Morwellham & Newquay, Devon (Report - non-specific). SDV241179.

Buck, C., 2006, New Quay: Archaeological Assessment, 20-1; Figures 9,15-17 (Report - Assessment). SDV336511.

A new limekiln was built at New Quay in 1774 & by 1817 there were three lime kiln wells shown. The kilns (Site 10) were repaired & raised in the 1850s & remained in operation until 1914. The survey in 2006 found the kilns of rubble with two brick arches to the west & an earlier stone headed arch on the north side. The loading platform is 3 meters wide by 1.2 meters high & a flight of steps leads up the south side to the three limestone & coal storage areas (Site 10.1). The rear tramline (Site 10.2) from SX4543969641 to SX4547169594 had at least two turntables on the northern wall. A bread oven (Site 10.3) at SX4542469599 is located at the foot of the steps with a brick arched opening 1.3 meters wide x 3.2 meters high x 1.9 meters deep.

Team Surveys, 2009, New Quay, Devon, 10, 10A + 10B (Plan - measured). SDV356725.

Department for Culture, Media and Sport, 2011, Gulworthy (List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest). SDV346666.

Lime kilns on the east bank of the River Tamar. Constructed in 1774, extended and repaired in the 19th century.
The structures are built of roughly-dressed coursed stone rubble with brick dressings. The three kilns are housed in a substantial rectangular west-facing kiln block or superstructure, which is built against a steep face cut into the natural slope. They are of two phases of construction, with one to the left being the original. On the north side of the kiln block is an incline plane that is orientated west-east. And at the upper level (east) of the kilns is a fomer storage yard.
Internally, the draw arches of the kilns have single square draw eyes that are set into the base of the kiln bowls and retain parts of their cast iron frames, The kiln pots themselves have a tapering cylindrical form and appear largely complete.
The lime kilns, incline plane and storage yard are designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons; the late 18th century kilns are rare survivals and together with their associated transport system and storage yard, they form an inter-related group of structures that are particularly well-preserved. The plan form and functions of the various structures are clearly evident. The kilns are an important survival and one of the latest vestiges of lime production in this part of West Devon, which considerably adds to the special interest. Its close association with and close proximity to the once thriving and internationally signifcant, Morwellham Quay, which contains a number of listed industrial buildings and is a scheduled monument.

Ordnance Survey, 2014, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV355681.

Houghton, P., 2015, An Archaeological and Historical Report on New Quay Nr Tavistock Devon Volume One, 54-59, fig 63-70 (Report - Assessment). SDV363202.

The lime kilns are constructed from random rubble with brick arches to the kiln entrances, with the exception of the entrance to the northern eye, which is a stone arch. Each arch provides access to two wells, which are 6.0 metres deep and 3.0 metres across. Cone shaped. Only one of the kilns is partly covered at the top; the other two remain open. One of the fire doors to the wells is still intact but of the remaining examples, only their iron frames remain.
There is a loading ramp (3.0 metres wide, 1.2 metres high) in front of the kilns. It has two buttresses at the front western elevation around 8.0 metres high which may be aa later addition, possibly to repair/maintain the structures during the mid-later 19th century.
Behind the kilns are three storage bays set into the hillside, one of which still has the remains of the last load of limestone to be dumped on the site, and is still unburnt (fig 67). Walls of the bays have been heavily buttressed (4.0 metres high by 1.3 metres wide) most likely to take the additional weight of the limestone and coal trucks that would have run across the tram rails at the top of the walls. There are 2 or 3 per 15 metres length of wall.
There would have been at least two turntables on top of the walls to turn the trucks from the incline plane to across the storage areas.
Evidence suggests that the storage areas were never under cover. Current vegetation cover makes it impossible to tell whether the floors of the storage areas ever tiled or contained flagstones.
The Bakers' Oven is located towards the bottom of a set of stone steps running up the southern side of the Limekilns (fig 69). There is a brick-arched opening into the oven (1.3 metres wide, 3.2 metres high, 1.9 metres deep) with a slate floor. The door to the oven is missing but the opening measures 0.4 metres high, 0.75 metres wide. A date of 'MCCCL' on a brick above the arched doorway offers a date of 1850 for major repairs and reconstruction work being carried out on the southern kiln (fig 70).

Waterhouse, R., 2017, The Tavistock Canal. Its History and Archaeology, 275 (Monograph). SDV361789.

Earliest kiln on this site was built in 1746 apparently as a rival to Morwellham. The earliest map of the site dates to 1758, but does not show the kiln. Gaskell-Brown records a kiln constructed here in 1772 and watercolours from the early 19th century show a semi-circular kiln with curving, open-fronted verandah. Appears on the lease plan of 1817, shown as a rectangular bank containing three wells. Enlarged in 1825, when an inclined plane was also constructed. Form of the incline and workings described by Waterhouse.
Kiln was last fired around the time of the First World War, although the railways appear to fallen out of use earlier than this.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV241175Worksheet: Lancaster University Archaeological Unit. 1997. Lime, Cement and Plaster Industries. English Heritage Monuments Protection Programme Step 3 Site Assessments. A4 Bound + Digital. Site Number 3.
SDV241179Report - non-specific: Buck, C.. 2003. Morwellham & Newquay, Devon. Cornwall Archaeological Unit Report. 2003R058. Digital + A4.
SDV242404Monograph: Gaskell-Brown, C.. 1980. New Quay Devon. An Archaeological and Historical Survey. Unknown. 33-7.
SDV242446Undergraduate Dissertation: Mills, R. + Murrell, D. + Vandenbossche, P. + Watts, S.. 1997. An Archaeological Assessment of the East Side of the River Tamar between Calstock and Gunnislake. University of Plymouth: Nautical Archaeology. A4 Stapled + Digital.
SDV265602National Monuments Record Database: NMR. 1982. SX46NE23. NMR Index. Card Index.
SDV336506Article in Serial: Gaskell Brown , C. + Coleman-Smith, R.. 1982. The Archaeology of New Quay, Devon. Transactions of the Devonshire Association. 114. A5 Paperback. 138-40; Figure 8, Drawing D..
SDV336511Report - Assessment: Buck, C.. 2006. New Quay: Archaeological Assessment. Cornwall County Council Report. 2006R010. A4 + Digital. 20-1; Figures 9,15-17.
SDV346666List of Blds of Arch or Historic Interest: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. 2011. Gulworthy. Additions and Amendments to Checklist. A4 Stapled.
SDV355681Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2014. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital. [Mapped feature: #82491 ]
SDV356725Plan - measured: Team Surveys. 2009. New Quay, Devon. Digital. 10, 10A + 10B.
SDV357966Report - non-specific: Lancaster University Archaeological Unit. 1997. MPP Lime, Cement and Plaster Industries: Step 3- Introduction to site assessments. Monument Protection Programme. 1997-98/(016)/AUA7568. A4 Comb Bound + Digital. Site Number 3, Appendix 3, 2..
SDV361789Monograph: Waterhouse, R.. 2017. The Tavistock Canal. Its History and Archaeology. The Tavistock Canal. Its History and Archaeology. Paperback Volume. 275.
SDV362968Article in Serial: Chitty, G.. 2001. Lime, Cement and Plaster Industries, Monument Protection Programme, Step 4 Report. A4 Comb Bound. Site 3.
SDV64198Monograph: Griffith, F.. 1988. Devon's Past. An Aerial View. Devon's Past. An Aerial View. Paperback Volume. 111.
SDV7016Monograph: Minchinton, W. E.. 1976. Industrial Archaeology in Devon. Industrial Archaeology in Devon. Paperback Volume + Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV19380Part of: New Quay (Monument)
MDV72692Related to: Gulworthy, New Quay, Incline Plane (Building)
MDV19388Related to: Leat from Tavistock Canal, Gulworthy (Monument)
MDV126446Related to: Railway, New Quay (Monument)
MDV126451Related to: Tramline, New Quay (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events

  • EDV3957 - New Quay, Devon: Archaeological Assessment
  • EDV3958 - Morwellham & Newquay, Devon
  • EDV3959 - New Quay Devon. An Archaeological and Historical Survey
  • EDV6507 - Survey of New Quay (Ref: 090239)
  • EDV8147 - Watching brief during vegetation clearance works at New Quay

Date Last Edited:Sep 19 2019 10:25AM