The demand for lime to improve agriculture in Britain rose rapidly
in the eighteenth and into the nineteenth century. In areas where limestone
was found there developed a local industry with field kilns supplying the
surrounding area within a few miles carting distance. In Northumberland there
also developed a coastal trade with ships carrying burned lime to a range
of destinations from larger banks of kilns situated at suitable harbours.
With the coming of the railways many of the earlier kilns were closed down
as it became economic to produce lime at large comercial units which supplied
Today there are examples of all of these phases in the history
of limeburning to be found across Northumberland and seeking them out can
provide many pleasant walks and an introduction to some beautiful countryside.
There is not much written on the subject but a good start is: 'Lime Kilns of North Northumberland' by J.W. Bainbridge, in History of the Berwickshire Naturalists' Club, vol. 45, part 2 (1991)
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