MSO7779 - Post-medieval lime kiln above Embelle Wood Beach (Building)


The remains of a circular limekiln above Embelle Wood Beach, approximately 7.5 metres in diameter and 3.5 metres high.

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Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

Full Description

SS 81628 49247. The remains of a limekiln set into the base of steep, thickly wooded, coastal slopes, above a shingle embankment at Embelle Wood Beach. The circular stone built kiln is now generally in a poor condition and covered in trees and scrub. Its south side abuts the cliff base so its full dimensions cannot be definitely assessed but it is about 7.5 metres in diameter and stands some 3.5 metres high. Its flat top contains a well preserved central kiln bowl, 2.6 metres in diameter and about 3.6 metres deep, which was loaded from the east side. There are three arched, corbelled walled, access bays, or lobbies, on the north, east and west sides, fronted by a working platform. Now partly collapsed and half full of debris, which obscures their draw holes and poking holes, they are each about 1.8 metres wide, 2.7 metres deep and some 2.2 metres high to their flat slabbed ceilings. The west bay has an unusual timber lintel beam and is supported by an external buttress on its north side. The east bay is approached by a passage 1.5 metres wide protected by a wall 1.7 metres high. The limestone was brought from ships beached on the shingle, and the kiln approached from the east by a track, still evident, along the base of the cliff. The lime was removed via a track going off to the west and also still visible though partly overgrown. Pieces of coal are still evident around the kiln in the southeast. There is a rectangular ancillary building, with chimney stack in its south gable, to the immediate west of the kiln. Its roof has fallen in and its western wall has collapsed inwards. SS 8149 4932. Some 140 metres west along the coast in the wood on leveller ground are the remains of a house, minor buildings and yards, a low circular stone walled feature and associated walls, all probably contemporary with the kiln. The limekiln and three of the structures originally shown on the 1888 Ordnance Survey plan [1] are depicted on the 1974 revision. [1-3] The feature is described as a limekiln on the 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map. However, the 2nd Edition map labels the site as an "Old Limekiln", suggesting it had passed out of use by this time. [1,5] The lime kiln is not depicted on the Culbone Tithe Map, which labels the area in which it is situated as "The Layground". This area was not surveyed in detail, however, and the lime kiln may have been extant at this point. [6] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [7]

Sources/Archives (7)

  • <1> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1868-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500. 1888, Somerset 33(2).
  • <2> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1974. 1:10,000 scale map: 1974. 1:10000.
  • <3> Unpublished document: Sainsbury, I.S.S. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 1995.
  • <4> Report: McDonnell, R. + Faxon, K.. 2002. Culbone Woodlands: A Preliminary Archaeological Survey for Management Purposes. P.59.
  • <5> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1902-1907. County Series, 2nd Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500.
  • <6> Map: 1838. Culbone Tithe Map and Apportionment.
  • <7> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 1056902, Extant 22 February 2022.



Grid reference Centred SS 8162 4925 (18m by 16m) Historic mapping
Map sheet SS84NW

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (1)

Related Events/Activities (2)

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 84 NW29
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 1056902
  • Shoreline Management Plan 2 (0-20)
  • Somerset SMR PRN (Somerset): 33871

Record last edited

Feb 22 2022 3:30PM


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