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Midstrath Limekiln

A Category B Listed Building in Birse, Aberdeenshire

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Coordinates

Latitude: 57.047 / 57°2'49"N

Longitude: -2.6812 / 2°40'52"W

OS Eastings: 358768

OS Northings: 795305

OS Grid: NO587953

Mapcode National: GBR WV.B5P7

Mapcode Global: WH7NR.S4FK

Entry Name: Midstrath Limekiln

Listing Date: 16 April 1971

Category: B

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 334074

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB3094

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Birse

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Banchory and Mid Deeside

Parish: Birse

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

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Description

Early 19th century. N facing, single 3-draw limekiln, partially collapsed. Mainly dry granite rubble with long and short finely finished dressings. 3 round-arched fireholes, that to centre in advanced battered bay; blocked up. Curved wing walls.

Statement of Interest

During the 18th and 19th centuries lime was frequently used on farms to improve the quality and fertility of the land. It was also used in industry and by the building trade. Draw-kilns replaced the simpler clamp-kilns. They are vertical, with various numbers of access vents at the bottom to allow access to the fire so it can be kindled. Limestone is loaded into the top of the kiln (which is often built into a hillside to provide easy access, as at Midstrath), then burnt slowly, which removes the carbon dioxide from the limestone leaving calcium oxide, or quicklime. This can then be raked out the bottom and is pure enough for use. In some cases the vents, point in different directions and can be shut off or opened according to the wind direction. The farmer at Midstrath ran the limestone quarry and sold lime locally, however the coming of the railway bought cheaper (if inferior) lime to Deeside, and it soon became uneconomical to run the limekiln, which was out of use by the time Dinnie wrote his book in 1865.

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