Consulting Structural & Civil Engineers in Marple Bridge

Author Topic: What's Happening to Oldknow's Lime Kilns?  (Read 5417 times)

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Re: What's Happening to Oldknow's Lime Kilns?
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2014, 09:20:31 PM »
I have vague recollections of being invited to be involved with some sort of archaeological shenanigans when I was doing "A" level history at Marple Hall Grammar School (1966-ish). It didn't come to much then so I hope this one will be a bit more productive.


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What's Happening to Oldknow's Lime Kilns?
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2014, 10:07:49 AM »

INFORMATION SHEET: produced by Marple Civic Society.

IMAGES: From The Marple Website Virtual History Tour Lime Kilns Album

MORE INFORMATION: The Marple Website History of the Lime Kilns

This information sheet is to bring your attention to the impending archaeological survey and future activities at the Lime Kilns as part of the Oldknow’s Legacy Project. Further information can be found at

English Heritage have provided a small grant for archaeological survey works which will commence shortly, before vegetation starts growing and obscuring the remains. It will be necessary to trim back some of vegetation close to the walls so that the survey can be undertaken properly.

Over the next 3 years there will be other activities going on at the site. Each summer will see a 2 week community archaeology project involving local school children and adult volunteers. This will cover the grassed area on top of the kilns (kiln pots and associated structures) and at the base of the kilns and within the recreation ground across Strines Road where we can expect the remains of tramways. A structural engineer will make an assessment of the monument to establish what repairs and maintenance need to be undertaken to protect it. There will be lectures and provision of on-site interpretation so that visitors understand what the remains are, how the site once looked, and how important the site is. A management plan will be produced identifying options for maintaining, accessing and presenting the site in the future.

We want you to be a part of this process!
You will have the chance to take part in the community digs, hear about the results of the archaeological work, and we will be asking for your views on the monument’s future. It has been suggested that a Friends of Oldknow’s Lime Kilns group be established. This would provide an opportunity for the local community to help in promoting the Lime Kilns and securing the future of this wonderful part of Marple’s heritage.

The Lime Kilns were built by Samuel Oldknow, at the end of the 18th century. The size of the kiln bank, the number of kiln pots, the built-in accommodation for families, the Gothic architectural embellishment, and the various elements of the transport system set the Marple lime works apart from its contemporaries. Much of this has been lost or is no longer visible, with only a portion of the kiln wall presented after landscaping in the 1970s. The site has become overgrown, is deteriorating and many people in the local community are unaware of its existence. Recently, English Heritage put the site on its ‘Monuments at Risk’ register.

Samuel Oldknow was a great industrialist who shaped much of the Marple and Mellor we know today. His legacy is to be celebrated and promoted through the Oldknow’s Legacy project, which has had confirmation of a £1.5 million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The project will focus mainly on the restoration and presentation of the Peak Forest canal aqueduct and the Mellor Mill site at Roman Lakes. It is being delivered by the Canal & River Trust in partnership with Mellor Archaeological Trust.

A third strand of the Oldknow’s Legacy Project is the Lime Kiln site. There will be a detailed archaeological survey of the kilns and related features to provide a full understanding of the remains and their significance, both above and below ground. This study will help to inform future management plans for the site. Key partners for the Lime Kiln site scheme are the landowner’s Stockport MBC and the Social Club (on the top level), with local support from Marple Civic Society.

The archaeological works comprise:

- an archaeological desk based assessment detailing the site’s history, development, and extent of remains
- a topographic survey to provide a detailed map of the site and its various levels
- a geophysical survey on the top of the kilns bank to identify the site of former kiln pots and other features
- a measured survey of the stone walls through rectified photographs
- production of technical reports describing the results

For further information pending the appointment of officers for the main project, please contact: