A historic lime kiln located in Gradbach, Quarndon, has been given a new lease of life thanks to a project led by the South West Peak Landscape Partnership working with Tarmac’s Tunstead Quarry.
Commemorating the industrial heritage of this area, the Gradbach kiln has now been restored and enhanced following a donation of limestone from Tunstead Quarry. In addition, the project involved creating a replica kiln to demonstrate how the kilning process would have worked in the 18th and 19th Century.
Lime kilns are significant heritage assets and can be found across much of Derbyshire’s Peak District National Park. The kilns, along with limestone and lime production, have played a major role in the industrial past and present of the area.
Dr Catherine Parker Heath, cultural heritage officer at South West Peak Landscape Partnership, said: “This has been an exciting project for protecting and enhancing the industrial heritage of this area. Working with several funders, experts and volunteers we have given the kiln some much-needed care, improved its structure and prevented it from collapsing into the nearby road.
“Lime kilns are important heritage structures, so we are delighted that we have been able to improve the Gradbach kiln. We are also pleased that we have been able to partner with local company Tarmac to source the limestone. To see the process of lime burning taking place in the replica kiln, close to how it would have been done in the past, has really helped bring history alive!
“The future care of the kiln will be supported by the High Peak Scouts, who will use the project to help them achieve a newly-created Derbyshire Archaeology Badge.”
The South West Peak Landscape Partnership was also supported with the project by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Association for Industrial Archaeology and the Peak District National Park Authority.
Graham Cooper, lime business director at Tarmac, added: “Tarmac is always keen to get involved in projects which promote the historical importance of quarrying and associated industries in this area.
“We are very pleased to have been able to donate stone from our Tunstead quarry for use in the Gradbach project and the replica kiln. The work the partnership has done to protect the 200-year-old limekiln is very impressive and we look forward to hearing more about this project in the future.”
Tarmac’s Tunstead Quarry is one of the largest limestone quarries in Europe. Lime produced at the quarry is used in a range of manufacturing processes and applications including electricity generation, water treatment, soil stabilisation and steel manufacturing.