Above: This relic of a bygone age once produced lime to fertilise fields in the Goyt Valley.

I only noticed the remains of a lime kiln the other day, near the southern end of Errwood Reservoir, along the track from the bottom of Old Goyts Lane, just a short distance past the bird-feeder tree. I checked John Barnatt’s extensive archaeological 1994 survey of the valley and it includes this description:

This is a fine example of a lime kiln. It is drystone-wall retained on the downslope side, the wall still standing to nearly its original height. At the centre of this side is the drawing hole, with a short passage leading to the internal base of the kiln. This passage is bottle-shaped in section, with a top hole separated from the passage below by a horizontal slab. This was presumably a draft hole.

The kiln was loaded from the top and there is a short approach track from the north west which joined lane 107*. It was emptied from the lane below the kiln, which again joins lane 107. The location against this route way suggests that lime was brought down the lane from the Buxton/Burbage area, the nearest source of limestone.

Coal to fire the kiln may have come from within the valley, perhaps from the bell pits at feature 174*. The lime from the kilns was presumably used on the fields in the immediate vicinity and on the fields below in the valley around Goytsbridge.

Above: Drag the slider to see both old and new views showing the position of the old lime kiln and the associated coal pits.

*There’s a pdf of John Barnatt’s archeological survey at the bottom of this page. 107 is Old Goyt’s Lane, and 174 the coal pits which John thinks fuelled the kilns.

Topic tags (click for similar posts): Coal mining | Then & now fades