Barnaderg Lime Kiln

Sylvester Cassidy

Lime Kiln
Photo: Niamh Mannion, Cahernagry

 

On the farmland of Tom Mitchell, in the townland of Barnaderg North and visible from the main Barnaderg-Tuam road is the remains of a lime kiln (often pronounced lime kill). Lime kilns existed in the countryside in their thousands in the 18th and 19th centuries and were used to produce lime by heating limestone at high temperatures of up to 1,000 degrees centigrade and Are to be found most frequently in fields and in close proximity to a fuel source such as peat bogs. The burning decomposed the limestone and converted it to lime known as quicklime or burnt lime and used extensively in agriculture and buildings, Industrial lime and brickworks largely replaced lime kilns in the second half of the 19th century.

Description of Lime Kiln

Lime Kilns were usually built into a bank of rising ground. At the front of the kiln base was located the draw hole. It provided draft and access to the fire and the lime was also withdrawn from this hole. The top part of the kiln which was flat and above the furnace shaft was where the final breaking and loading of the limestone took place. The kiln top had usually cast iron covers to serve as dampers and moderate the draft. A wall was sometimes built around the edge of the kiln head to protect the workers as this area was often enveloped in thick smoke giving poor visibility.

 

This page was added on 28/01/2015.

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