The history of the lime kilns
Lindisfarne had a long established lime burning industry, but this was the largest site on Holy Island.
Permission for the development of the kilns on the site was given on 24 March 1860; by the 1861 census there were 35 men employed at the kilns. The work was dangerous, and men at the kilns would often have received caustic burns. The dust if inhaled caused lung damage and could in some cases cause blindness.
The kilns were built here as they were outside the enclosed farmland, close to the harbour and could be easily connected to the quarry on the north shore of the island. You can see the remains of the jetties where coal was imported and the quicklime exported and trace the routes of the wagonways that linked the quarry and the jetties to the kilns. By the 1880s the lime trade was in decline and the kilns were last fired – by island farmers – In 1900.
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