The Lime Kiln at Carrowmanagh

Nora Williams, late of Clogherboy

Lime kiln at Carrowmanagh
B. Forde, April, 2020

.The Lime Kiln

In the 1930’s, there were a lot of lime kilns dotted throughout Killererin but the only functional one I knew of was at Carrowmanagh near Killererin church. It was owned by a local farmer and he rented it out to a man from Lissavalley. The entrance to that area was through the Shiaun gate. That was supposed to be haunted, not that I ever saw anything unusual there. The man would spend some time quarrying the limestones with a pick and shovel to get ready for the manufacturing of the lime.

How the Lime was produced

At that time, famers depended on the lime to improve their lands to make it more productive and to improve the soil. It also helped to make the pastures more palatable for their stock. The kiln was built of ordinary building stone and was shaped like a big round wheel.  It was filled up with a layer of timber and of turf, then a layer of limestone, then a layer of fuel again and so forth, till the kiln was filled to the top. There was a tunnel arranged at the bottom for the lime. Then the fire was left for maybe a week or two when the heat would rise to a very high degree. When the two weeks were up the red hot lime was shovelled into horse and carts ready to be delivered to the local farmers.

Housewives had many uses for lime

The housewives would be delighted to see the lime arriving so they could whitewash their thatched homes with this beautiful white stuff called lime. Their homes were decorated outside and inside, kitchen and bedrooms alike. Water was added and also a ball or two of Ricketts blue to bring up the whiteness. This also was an added bonus as the lime would kill off all the creepy-crawleys and give the house a lovely fresh smell. Those days will never return.

This page was added on 27/09/2018.

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