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Reload this Page ARCHIVE - Hoffman Kiln, Langcliffe (nr Settle) 02/09
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ARCHIVE - Hoffman Kiln, Langcliffe (nr Settle) 02/09
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Default ARCHIVE - Hoffman Kiln, Langcliffe (nr Settle) 02/09 - 08-02-2009, 15:54

Although not really an explore in the manner of most of our reports on NWEX, I thought I'd post this up as it might be of interest to those interested in industrial history.

This Hoffman Kiln was built for the Craven Lime Company in 1873, and this little excerpt nicely sums up its function and history:

"The Hoffmann Continuous kiln was patented in 1858 by its German inventor Friedrich Hoffmann. The version built under licence at Langcliffe had 22 individual burning chambers. Limestone was burned continuously in a circuit around the kiln and it took an average of six weeks for one whole circuit.

Limestone blocks from the nearby quarry were barrowed in and carefully stacked by hand in the burning chamber. Coal was mixed in, and once lit, more added through small coal chutes from the top of the kiln. The complicated flue system allowed the heat and speed of the burn around the kiln to be carefully regulated. As one chamber burned, waste heat warmed limestone blocks in the next two or three chambers. Behind the burning zone, two or three chambers were left to cool down before the lime could be shovelled out and loaded onto railway wagons waiting in the sidings beside the kiln.

The kiln is lined with firebricks to withstand the intense heat. Behind the firebricks is a limestone rubble core, which helped to keep the heat in. In the roof are the small chutes down which crushed coal was dropped to keep the limestone burning. At floor level in the walls are the flue holes. Air was drawn from the outside under the burning limestone and the smoke went up the central core of the kiln to the chimney. Iron dampers on the roof allowed workers to regulate the draught in the flue system.

In 1931, competition from elsewhere and a general downturn in sales led to the closure of the Hoffmann kiln and its associated quarry at Langcliffe. The kiln was fired up one more time in 1937, but in 1939 it was closed down permanently. In 1951, arrangements had been made to ceremoniously demolish the chimney, but it came down of its own accord the day before with no one there to see it.
Source: Johnson, David (2002) Limestone Industries of the Yorkshire Dales. Stroud: Tempus"

http://www.outofoblivion.org.uk/record.asp?id=296

Artists impression of it as it was:


Way in














Up on the top. I didn't spend too much time on here as I wasn't entirely sure of what was underneath the snow





Looking over the Settle - Carlisle Railway. Fifteen minutes later, just as I was leaving Settle, a steam hauled 'Dalesman' came through, if I'd have known it was coming I'd have stuck around on here for a while to watch it :(


Entrance to tramway tunnel (gated and locked I'm afraid). This tunnel led underneath a spoil heap to the face of the quarry, allowing a regular supply of limestone to be brought to the kiln on horse drawn wagons.


Exterior - it's quite a substantial thing, and with this pond alongside, it could almost be a mediaeval fort.


Rare self portrait
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