MSO7767 - Post-medieval lime kilns above Glenthorne Beach (Building)


The remains of two limekilns, together with an associated boat house (MEM22842) and coach house, are set into the base of cliffs above a shingle embankment.

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Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

Full Description

"Old limekiln" and "Boathouse" is printed on the Ordnance survey 25 inch map of 1904. [1] Ruined building marked "Old limekiln (disused)". [2] SS 8005 4953 The remains of two limekilns set into the quarried base of almost vertical sea cliffs, covered in trees and dense scrub, above a shingle embankment at Glenthorne Beach. SS 80048 49533 The main limekiln is set on a platform adjacent to the top of the shingle embankment. It is a rectangular stone building 7.3 metres north-west tosouth-east by 6.8 metres and some 5 metres in overall height. There is a small parapet about 0.3 metres to the 0.5 metres high running around the edge of the flat top which conatins a well preserved central kiln bowl, 3 metres in diameter and about 3.5 metres deep. It was loaded from a narrow ramp around the west side beneath the cliff base. This means of access, alongside a ruined ancillary building is blocked by a stone wall 0.8 metres high, across the front of the limekiln. There are two arched access bays or lobbies, one on the north-west and another on the south-east. The western one has an outer curving protection wall whilst the eastern one is accessed from the north by a half-arch tunnel 1.6 metres wide and 2.9 metres high. The bays are each about 2.5 metres wide and 3.3 metres deep and some 3 metres high to their corbelled ceilings. Their floors are covered in debris and in their rear walls at ground level they each contain a rectangular arched topped draw-hole grate, 0.7 metres wide, 0.5 metres high and 0.4 metres deep and a poking hole 0.3 metres square and 0.4 metres deep, about 1.6 metres above ground level. This limekiln is shown on the 1888 Ordnance Survey map [3] and may still have been in use then; the ancillary buildings are roofed. SS 80063 49528 Some 15 metres to the east of the main kiln, hidden by thick vegetation and almost destroyed by the collapsing cliff are the fragmentary remains of an earlier kiln. Only brief details were obtainable due to inaccessability. Part of the northwest side of the kiln bowl is evident which appears to have been about 3 metres in diameter. Remains of the top of a curved access bay, about 2.5 metres wide and 0.5 metres high are visible on the north west side of the bowl. Beneath the scrub on the shingle embankment the rear curved wall of another bay, giving access from the north east side is just visible. This kiln is not depicted on the 1888 Ordnance Survey. [4] Double limekiln and raised platform. Mid 19th Century in date. They are constructed from local stone random rubble. This a double kiln with curved bays set back to back with central flue and a curved low wall on the west sid. The east side ground was presumably raked up and was behind dense vegetation at time of survey (October 1984). The kiln has a monopitch stone roof and curved rear wall forming dog-leg entrance to left hand kiln .The whole is fronted by a retaining wall about 40 metres in length. The flue is unblocked. A fine example of a double limekiln and the whole in relatively good condition. Ruins of the boathouse (MEM22842) and coachouse adjoining (not included in listing). Part of the Glenthorne estate. [5] The western kiln and ancillary buildings were surveyed at 1:100 scale in March 1999 by the Royal Commission on the Historic Monuments of England as part of the Exmoor project. [6-8] The kilns and the retaining wall were visited in April 2012 as part of the rapid condition survey of Exmoor's Listed Buildings 2012-13. The kilns received a BAR score of 3A and the wall a score of 4A. [9] A structure is visible in this area on the 1842 Oare Tithe map, which may represent one of these kilns. [10] The features are marked on 2018 MasterMap data and the limekiln is labelled as disused. [11] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [12] The lime kilns are mentioned in a publication on the industrial archaeology of Somerset. [13]

Sources/Archives (13)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1904. 25" sheet. 22(14).
  • <2> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1975. 1:10,000 SS84NW.
  • <3> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1854-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1890, Somerset 22(14 ).
  • <4> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 1 November 1995.
  • <5> Index: 2/1/1986. Thirty-fifth List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest, District of West Somerset (Somerset)/Exmoor National Park.
  • <6> Technical drawing: Riley, H., Wilson-North, R. and Jamieson, E.. 1999. Glenthorne Lime Kiln/pencil survey. Unknown. Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <7> Technical drawing: Riley, H., Wilson-North, R. and Jamieson, E.. 1999. Glenthorne Lime Kiln/ink survey. Unknown. Permatrace. Pen and Ink.
  • <8> Unpublished document: Riley, H.. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, March 1999.
  • <9> Report: Lawrence, G.. 2014. Exmoor National Park: Rapid condition survey of listed buildings 2012-13.
  • <10> Map: 1842. Oare Tithe Map and Apportionment.
  • <11>XY Map: Ordnance Survey. 2018. MasterMap. [Mapped feature: #41110 ]
  • <12> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1107255, Extant 22 February 2022.
  • <13> Monograph: Daniel, P. (Ed.). 2019. A guide to the industrial archaeology of Somerset. Association for Industrial Archaeology. 2nd Edition. p 73, W28.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • 2012-3 Building At Risk Score (3A): 1076/2/34/1
  • 2012-3 Building At Risk Score (4A): 1076/2/34/2
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO10667
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO11502
  • Local Heritage List Status (Rejected)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 NW43
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1107255
  • Shoreline Management Plan 2 (0-20)
  • Shoreline Management Plan 2 (20-50)
  • Shoreline Management Plan 2 (50-100)
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 33879
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 31158



Grid reference Centred SS 8004 4953 (33m by 24m)
Map sheet SS84NW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (3)

Record last edited

Oct 11 2022 2:08PM


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