Froghall Lime Kilns - Froghall, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, UK.
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Poole/Freeman
N 53° 01.555 W 001° 57.687
30U E 569654 N 5875657
Quick Description: The Froghall Lime Kilns are located at Froghall in the Churnet Valley near Ipstones.
Location: West Midlands, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 3/8/2019 8:08:18 AM
Waymark Code: WM106M2
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member bluesnote
Views: 4

Long Description:
The early 19th century lime kilns are Grade II listed. The kilns of rock-faced sandstone, ashlar and brick construction are located overlooking Froghall Basin. This area around Froghall Wharf and basin at the terminus of the Caldon Canal has been developed and landscaped as an industrial historic site.

The kilns have a massive retaining wall approximately 12 metres high by 50metres in length. The kilns form part of a group at the head of the Caldon Canal (built circa 1779), which includes a tramway terminus, warehouse and the canal itself, forming an industrial cluster of monuments. (visit link) (visit link)

The limestone industry was significant in Froghall. The abundance of limestone at Caldon Low in North Staffordshire led to the development of a major quarrying industry in the area. The limestone was mined in the huge quarries at Caldon Low and then loaded onto an inclined tramway to Froghall. Transport was a problem until the construction of the Caldon Canal which opened to traffic from its terminus at Froghall in December 1778. At the nearby Froghall Wharf, limestone was loaded onto canal narrow boats or burnt in lime kilns and then transported to the Potteries or further afield.

'The first limekilns at Froghall were completed in June 1786 at a cost of £312 12s 4d. By 1808 there were four kilns and later expansion saw this increased to six. In 1887 the kilns were being operated by William Bowers and in 1918 Bowers and Thorley. These ceased production in March 1920 when the tramroad from the quarries was closed.
Today the kilns remain in good order in the care of Staffordshire County Council which has created a car park and picnic area on the old stone wharves.' Source: (visit link)

An information board located in front of the kilns has a photograph, a diagram and gives the following information;
" 2.Lime
Lime was an important material in eighteenth and nineteenth century agriculture. Adding lime to the soil reduced its acidity and increased crop yields. In the south, lime was available as chalk, but in the rest of the country the only available source was limestone. Today limestone is crushed mechanically to a fine powder, but in the past it was necessary to burn the stone in a kiln to reduce it to quicklime (calcium oxide), which could then be crushed into a powder. It takes about two tons of limestone to produce a ton of quicklime, and an acre of land might require around two tons of quicklime.
In addition to its use in agriculture, lime was also used in lime mortar and as a material in ironmaking.

Caldon Low
Before the Caldon Canal was completed, the Trent and Mersey Canal Company had already made agreements with the owners of limestone quarries at Caldon Low. The Caldon Low Railways were built to carry this limestone to the valley of the Churnet at Froghall where it was either burnt or shipped directly to the canal.
In the 1770s, around 50 tons of limestone came from the quarries each week. By the 1790s this had increased to over 800tons and after the 1850s output was in excess of 6000tons per week.

The type of limekiln used at Froghall was the continuous 'draw' kiln. The operation of these was fairly simple. Coal and limestone were loaded at the top, the coal burned and reduced the limestone to quicklime in the central part of the kiln. The quicklime was removed through a drawhole at the base. The central part of the kiln consisted of a brick-lined 'pot' built into a stone -faced bank. This allowed a high level access to feed the kiln and a low level access to remove the quicklime.
Quicklime is an irritant. Shovelling it from the drawholes into the waiting boats must have been an unpleasant task.

Froghall Kilns
The large kilns at the south-west end of the wharf site, near the road entrance, date from the period after a standard gauge railway connection was built from the Churnet Valley Railway, and may date from the 1880s. The smaller kilns at the north end of the site may be those built in the 1780s, but which were subsequently modified."

Photographs of the area 1910 - 1912(c.) can be seen at the following links: (visit link) (visit link) (visit link)

(visit link)
Type of Oven / Kiln: Lime / Limestone

Status: Historical Site

Operating Dates: 1786 - 1920

Additional Coordinate: Not Listed

Additional Coordinate Description: Not listed

Website: Not listed

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dtrebilc visited Froghall Lime Kilns - Froghall, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, UK. 10/10/2019 dtrebilc visited it