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Lime Kilns, Incline Plane and Storage Yard

A Grade II Listed Building in Gulworthy, Devon

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Coordinates

Latitude: 50.5059 / 50°30'21"N

Longitude: -4.181 / 4°10'51"W

OS Eastings: 245438

OS Northings: 69619

OS Grid: SX454696

Mapcode National: GBR NT.KKWZ

Mapcode Global: FRA 274Q.DZ3

Plus Code: 9C2QGR49+9H

Entry Name: Lime Kilns, Incline Plane and Storage Yard

Listing Date: 18 February 2011

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1396467

English Heritage Legacy ID: 511848

Location: Gulworthy, West Devon, Devon, PL19

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Gulworthy

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon

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Description

GULWORTHY

1818/0/10016 NEWQUAY
18-FEB-11 Lime kilns, incline plane and storage
yard

II
Lime kilns on the east bank of the River Tamar. First constructed in 1774; extended and repaired in the C19.

MATERIALS: The structures are built of roughly-dressed coursed stone rubble with brick dressings.

PLAN: The three draw kilns are housed in a substantial rectangular west-facing kiln block or superstructure which is built against a steep face cut into the natural slope. They are of two phases of construction, with the one to the left being the original. On the north side of the kiln block is an incline plane that is orientated west-east, and at the upper level (east) of the kilns is a former storage yard. Vehicular access to the top of the kilns is via a trackway from the south-east which is fronted by a stone revetment wall.

EXTERIOR: The main (west) elevation is slightly battered with two buttresses and a vertical joint to the left of centre indicating the probable extent of the original kiln. There are two round-headed, arched openings of brick above ground level in the front wall, and a stone-headed arch in the north return which give access to the brick-lined kilns or pots. To the front of the kiln block is a stone-faced working platform. The south elevation has a brick-arched opening for a small oven; its keystone is stamped 'MCCCL', providing a probable date for the repairs and reconstruction of the southern part of the kilns. Also on the south side, built against the wall of the kiln block, is a flight of stone steps with a round-headed archway over which provides access to the upper level (east) of the kiln.

INTERIOR: Internally the draw arches of the kilns have single, square draw eyes that are set into the base of the kiln bowls and retain parts of their cast-iron frames. The kiln pots themselves have a tapering cylindrical form and appear largely complete.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: Above the kiln block is a former yard consisting of three large storage bays where raw materials and finished lime could be stored. The walls are built of random stone rubble and are heavily-buttressed, standing up to 4m high. Running west-east from the waterfront and leading to the upper level of the kilns is an incline plane that is constructed of random stone rubble. It has lateral buttresses and two arched openings that allow access to either side of the structure. Towards the upper (eastern) end of the incline is a stone-lined wheel-pit which originally contained a waterwheel that was fed by a leat and it provided the power for the incline tramway using a winch system. The remains of two turntables have also been discovered through excavation at the eastern end of the incline.

HISTORY: A port (New Quay) was established alongside the River Tamar, to the south-east of Morwellham, in the mid-C18 and was part of the Duke of Bedford's Tavistock estates. Documentary sources indicate that New Quay was first leased in 1755 for the import and export primarily of agricultural products and coal. A lime kiln was built at Newquay in 1774 and it was extended with two additional kilns sometime between 1812 and 1817. An incline plane was constructed in 1825 to provide a transport link between the kilns and the waterfront. It carried a tramway with iron rails, and trucks loaded with limestone and coal were hauled up the incline to the kilns by means of a water-powered winch system. The kilns were repaired in the mid-C19 and were also, together with the incline plane, raised in height. Further repairs to the kilns were undertaken in 1867. Historic sources indicate that the kilns were reputed to be amongst the busiest on the river, supplying lime for most of the farmland west of Tavistock.

By 1860 New Quay had been enlarged so that copper ore from Devon Great Consols Mine to the north-east could be exported from here when nearby Morwellham Quay was full. By this date a small hamlet had become established at the port and it included an inn, smithy, blacksmith and a number of cottages. New Quay fell into decline by 1900, although the kilns continued to operate on a sporadic basis until 1914; the hamlet of Newquay was abandoned by the mid-C20.

SOURCES: Colin Buck, New Quay, Devon. Archaeological Assessment (2006), Cornwall County Council Historic Environment Service
Cynthia Gaskell Brown, New Quay, Devon. An Archaeological and Historical Assessment (1980), 34-36

REASONS FOR DESIGNATION: The lime kilns, incline plane and storage yard are designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons:
* Architecture: Late-C18 lime kilns are rare survivals and, together with their associated transport system and storage yard, they form an inter-related group of structures that are particularly well-preserved
* Legibility: the plan form and functions of the various structures are clearly evident
* Historic interest: an important survival and one of the last vestiges of lime production in this part of West Devon which considerably adds to the special interest
* Group value: for its association with, and close proximity to, the once thriving and internationally significant, Morwellham Quay which contains a number of listed industrial buildings and is a scheduled monument


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