Limekilns at Dunardry

In Britain, the earliest archaeological evidence for lime burning dates back to the Roman period. They used it for both building and farming.

Lime was used for stone buildings in towns and high status buildings throughout the medieval period.

In farming, the first historical record of its use since the Romans dates the common practice of using lime in farming to the 15th century.

Farming limekilns were often temporary structures, sometimes only a pit, and therefore are difficult to identify today. They produced enough lime to supply the immediate requirements of the farmer.

dunardry limekiln

The flare type lime kiln located near to the Dunardry farmstead.

dunardry limekiln ruin

Beside a modern track lies the remains of one several buildings at Dunardry.

High demand for lime

During the 18th century, as land was enclosed and methods of farming improved, the demand for lime increased. Building houses in stone, rather than wood, also became more common and the need for lime continued to grow.

Around this time, stone limekilns for farms became more common, like the one at Dunardry. Dunardry is a flare type kiln, built into a steep bank and faced with a stone wall.

The average daily output for a small kiln was 10 tons of lime and this would cover an area of two to three acres.  A kiln like this would only be able to supply local farms.

By the 19th century, the production of lime was a major industry. Massive kilns were built across Britain. Lime is still employed for a variety uses today.