HeritageGateway - Home
Site Map
Text size: A A A
You are here: Home > > > > Historic England research records Result
Historic England research recordsPrintable version | About Historic England research records

Historic England Research Records

Monument Number 1365645

Hob Uid: 1365645
Location :
Somerset
Somerset West and Taunton
Watchet
Grid Ref : ST0628043310
Summary : Three disused mid-late 19th century lime kilns survive as substantial structures, a further two, and associated buildings, are visible as turf covered stonework. The best preserved are probably mid/late nineteenth century. Grey lias and red sandstone random rubble walling. segmental and semi-circular brick arches and brick linings to kilns. Walls capped with new stonework and concrete. Stone retaining walls run down to entrance opening - on Cleeve Hill. Group value with adjoining Daws Castle earth works, a Scheduled Ancient Monument . The lime kilns have been recorded on aerial photographs and during field survey in 2004.
More information : Three Lime Kilns

ST 0642 2/6

II GV

2. Probably mid/late C19. Three disused lime kilns. Grey lias
and red sandstone random rubble walling. Segmental and
semi-circular brick arches and brick linings to kilns. Walls
capped with new stonework and concrete. Stone retaining walls
run down to entrance opening - on Cleeve Hill. Group value with
adjoining Daws Castle earth works, a Scheduled Ancient Monument (SM 378)
(Somerset County No 30009). (1)

The lime kilns have also been recorded on aerial photographs. The best preserved, described above are centred at ST 0628 4331. A further two, and associated structures are centred at ST 0625 4327 and ST 0623 4329. A mound, possibly natural but possibly associated witht he site is situated at ST 0628 4335. The structures have almost certainly deteriorated in the 60 years since the photographs were taken. (2-3)
The decaying remains of a block of originally three limekilns occupy a hill crest position high above Watchet near the edge of a crumbling and precipitous cliffs.They were in use in 1888 (as shown on the OS 1:2500 first edition dated 1888). On this plan the upper rims of three kilns were depicted in additon to an adjacent roofed building, a yard and track that led to the public road. This road offered easy - if steep - access to Watchet located at the foot of the hill with its railway yard and fine harbour. It also afforded access to the surrounding agricultural areas. A tramway is depicted on this plan linking the kiln loading platform to the beach at the foot of the steep cliff - on the steep cliff section there appears to be a series of steps along one side of the tramway. The tramway crosses the flatish ground towards the cliff edge on a slight embankment that is today traceable as a linear earthwork with a 90 degree angle halfway along . Associated with the tramway are two square buildings and a circular structure situated near this 90 degree angle in the tramway. One of these buildings may have housed a winding engine. The earthworks of a shallow track link the kiln loading platform to the nearby public road.
In 1929 (OS 1/2500 Revision edition dated 1929/30) the limekilns are shown still apparently in working condition. However of the three pots rims the central one is not depicted; also the tramway plus the two square buildings are not shown - although the unroofed circular structure and the west wall of the larger of the square buildings apparently survive.
In 1972 the OS digital 1:2500 scale map describes the limekilns as disused. The two pot rims are visible but the roof has been removed from the works building and the remaining two structures associated with the effaced tramway have been destroyed.
The EH survey and investigation in 2004 revealed that the overgrown remains of the limekilns are in an advanced state of decay. The yard, the site of the `works' building and the upper and lower road access tracks survive however the upper parts of the two kilns are in a perilous state of collapse. The crumbling brick inner liner of the eastern kiln is exposed and is in a fragile condition; the lower part of the draw-hole chamber is hidden by collapsed masonry. The western kiln has a fine brick arch with a brick relieving arch above over the draw-hole chamber; its pot is obscured and partially infilled. The curvilinear wall that encloses the western part of the kiln loading platform is more or less intact. The lower part of this wall is constructed of limestone blocks and has two low buttresses on the west side; the upper part is constructed mostly of red sandstone and was clearly added at a later date. This wall was probably built to deflect the force of the wind that blows in from the north across the exposed cliff top; this wind if unchecked could upset the slow burn action of the kilns. This wall is not visible on the 1888 map but it is depicted in 1929, although the lower part would seem to be contempoary with the kilns and with the retaining walls that formed the yard and the sunken track below. These well- constructed retaining walls also of small blocks and stones are up to 2m high and the walls of the former workman's building shelter and store stand to a height of 1.8m.
The tramway, that ran up and down the near vertical slope of the coastal cliff and must have been an impressive structure, presumably conveyed fuel and perhaps limstone blocks up to the kilns from vessels which had been beached on the seashore. When the tramway was removed limestone and fuel were apparently delivered by road via the upper track from Watchet harbour.The track at the base of the kiln would have been used to cart away the finished lime.
It is not clear why such an apparently inconvenient position at the top of a steep natural hillslope iwas chosen for this impressive kiln block. It may have had something to do with the ownership of the land or perhaps the location of a limestone outcrop. In comparison a block of three limekilns lie some 600m to the west of this site on low ground behind the coastal slope in what seems to be a far more convenient position. (4)

Documented. (5)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : N V Quinnel 03-JUN-1965
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 2
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : RAF 543/2821 (F65) 0124-0125 27-APR-1964
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 3
Source : Vertical aerial photograph reference number
Source details : S/262 0083-84 27-JUN-1941
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 4
Source : Field Investigators Comments
Source details : Martin Fletcher /20-MAY-2004 / EH project : Daw's Castle
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :
Source Number : 5
Source : English Heritage Monuments Protection Programme Industrial Monuments Assessment, Step 3 Reports
Source details : Lime Cement and Plaster, 2000, Somerset 3
Page(s) :
Figs. :
Plates :
Vol(s) :

Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Post Medieval
Display Date : Mid-late C19
Monument End Date : 1900
Monument Start Date : 1833
Monument Type : Lime Kiln
Evidence : Structure

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : SMR Number (Somerset)
External Cross Reference Number : 30009
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Scheduled Monument Legacy (County No.)
External Cross Reference Number : SM 378
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : Listed Building List Entry Legacy Uid
External Cross Reference Number : 264614
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : ST 04 SE 112
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 188490
Relationship type : General association

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : Primary, ENGLISH HERITAGE PROJECT: DAW'S CASTLE
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 2004-05-20
End Date : 2004-07-24