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Report - Buxton Lime firms - 05-2011


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Driving along the A6 just outside Buxton and you can't help but notice the monolithic buildings slightly up the hill on your right.

You can't get a sense of the true size of the buildings and kilms until you visit the site, a short hop over the gate and you are stood directly in front of the first building, This is where I was taking pictures of a sleeping bag and a couple of jerry cans of petrol when the owner of the sleeping bag walked in, we stood looking at each other for what seemed like hours was prolly only a few seconds before I decided to say hi, once we had a quick chat he seemed at ease and I continued on.

The Kilns themselves are massive and reminded me of an Inca building I once saw on a documentary, continuing along trying not to trip on the undergrowth and rumble I decided to scramble up the hill and around the top, this was almost very costly as near the top some of the ground gave way and I dolphin dived forward managing to take a picture as I hit the ground.

Anyway on with the history and pics

By 1891 fierce competition saw thirteen quarry owners amalgamate their seventeen quarries into Buxton Lime Firms controlled by four directors who raised the price of stone and lime and thus subsequently increased production by modernisation and development.
BLF owned 1522 acres of land, 89 lime kilns (including 2 Hoffmans), 21 large stone crushers and 3 collieries. They produced 360,000 tons limestone and 280,000 tons lime per year and dominated the industry in Derbyshire. Between 1895 and 1915 a further nine quarries were either started or bought and a limekiln building program started.

During WW2 many kilns were decommissioned as they could not conform with the strict blackout regulations. This obviously reduced production but this was overcome by enclosing the top of the kilns and fortunately this improved their efficiency and led to the development of a new type of kiln.
The BLF logo on one building is probably the last reminder of this part of Derbyshire’s Heritage.




Yes I fell over and when there's a 30 foot drop at the side of you, you kind panic








This is a little shaky, as I was taking the pic the owner of the sleeping bag walked in behind me






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