Very large area of earthen lime kilns and waste material extending on either side of the A623 approximately 1km east of Sparrowpit. Little documentary information was obtained. The remains appear extensive and deserving of further investigation. They are potentially a good example of a relict lime burning landscape and are considered to be of national importance. (1, 2)
On the south side of the road lies a complex of quarries, trackways, lime kilns and ash heaps that spread up the north-facing slope. There are several pudding pie kilns ranging in size from c. 3m across and 1m deep to c. 8m across and 2.5m deep. Quarries are criss-crossed by tracks leading from them to kilns. There is also a small ruined building which may have been a shed for quarry tools etc. The road dividing the site, which took its present course in 1807, cuts through the waste heaps of one of the kilns indicating that at least part of the site pre-dates 1807. In fact, the site may date back to the 17th century. Accounts survive for the Peak Forest lime kiln area from the mid-18th century to the early 19th century. In the mid-18th century there were around ten lime kilns in operation each year, but by the 19th century there were only four. The site appears to have gone out of use by 1840. (3)
The lime kilns and their associated quarries and waste heaps at the Peak Forest complex cover just over one square kilometre of ground. They are distributed in irregular clusters strung out to either side of the 1751 turnpike road (now the A623) from Peak Forest to Chapel en le Frith. The whole site was surveyed in 1999. A minimum of 129 kilns have been identified, varying in diameter from around 10m to 30m. Kiln waste heaps are always located immediately downslope of the kiln mound. In later examples these are up to c. 50m across and 5m high. Up to seven 'ash-houses' - rooms created within kiln waste heaps - have been identified, all but one of which are ruined. There is no clear evidence that any of these were ever used as dwellings, probably having been used for storage and temporary shelter. Other features include trackways and quarries. Detailed analysis of the archaeological features, together with surviving Chatsworth Estate accounts and historic maps, has shown that while the site today appears superficially to be an extensive industrial complex, in fact the features accumulated gradually over about 150 years, finally ceasing in 1823. (4)
Bibliographic reference: Trueman, M. 1997. Monuments Protection Programme, Step 3 Report: Lime, Cement and Plaster Industries- Site Assessment. Site 4.
Unpublished document: Chitty, G. 2001. MPP Step 4 Report: Lime, Cement and Plaster Industries. Derbyshire Site 4.
Article in serial: Barnatt, J & Dickson, A. 2004. 'Survey and interpretation of a limekiln complex at Peak Forest, Derbyshire; and a review of early limeburning in the north-west Peak', Derbyshire Archaeological Journal. Volume 124, pp 141-215.
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Centred SK 09944 80063 (1418m by 1318m)
PEAK FOREST, HIGH PEAK, DERBYSHIRE
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Record last edited
Sep 1 2015 1:46PM
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