Our Archaeology volunteers have recently carried out clearance work around two of the historic lime kilns that are dotted around the limestone areas of the Lake District.
The kilns were used to produce the chemical compound lime which has had a major role in shaping the Lake District, by sweetening acidic soils and improving fertility so fells could be turned into farmland. It was also used to whitewash houses, bind and render stonework and to decorate walls and chimneys. There is more information here: Limekilns
The two kilns, both near to Witherslack, had become very overgrown with ivy, and young trees. Without intervention, the stonework would soon have been damaged, and eventually the growth would cause the kiln walls to partially or totally collapse.
Both the kilns had also become nearly invisible from the adjacent footpaths, but they are now visible and once again a clear reminder of this historic process.
Castle Crag kiln before and after our volunteers cleared the overgrown vegetation - what a difference!