Greenside Lime Kiln
Location : Kendal
In July 2009 the Greenside Lime Kiln in Kendal, a scheduled ancient monument, was preserved to prevent dereliction, and to show visitors the link between the lime burning industry and the Kendal canal, by which the town prospered in the 9th century.
A map of Kendal, dated 1860, shows what is now Greenside, as a busy industrial complex, by mid 19th century standards. This area of quarries, sandwiched between High Tenterfell, The Heights and Martin’s Croft, contains five kilns, each shown as having two firing bowls. The lime burning industry was active in Kendal from the early 18th century, with the Kendal Fell area of the town enclosed and managed by the Kendal Fell Trust. Lime burning was originally a local/small scale industry, but with the opening of the canal in 1819, the industry expanded to many areas on the extremities of the town.
Even in the mid 1800’s, there was concern at the environmental impact that lime burning was having on the town, and it appears that traffic congestion is not a new problem either. Beast Banks was becoming ‘choked with horses and carts’ and action against Richard Mattison, a local lime burner, was threatened if he continued to cause congestion in this part of town. It was at this time, that recommendations were made towards the more efficient production of lime and an improved system of lime burning, probably to decrease the amount of traffic travelling up and down Beast Banks. The small scale lime producers in town soon gave way to larger companies, but by the 1950’s only one company, Penningtons of Kendal, were still working the kilns. Penningtons remained in operation until the 25th of August 1992, with the suspension of work at the Kendal Fell Quarry (although the kilns had by this point already ceased to operate)
The kilns here would have been used to burn lime that had been extracted from the quarries a few hundred yards away, and lime brought to Kendal on the canal, around a mile and a half to the East. The newly rejuvenated kiln here at Greenside, is now the sole surviving kiln in this area, the others all having been demolished and built over. It was therefore only fitting that with help from South Lakeland District Council, the Lottery Heritage Fund, English Heritage, Kendal Civic Society and Kendal Town Council, as well as a number of local companies and organisations, the kiln has been excavated, consolidated and saved for future generations to enjoy.
The site includes a number of information boards providing information on the operation of the kiln here at Greenside, as well as the Lime burning industry in the town in general, as well as seats providing panoramic views out across the rooftops of Kendal.