History of the kiln

History of the Kiln

Design of the Kiln

Surrounding Area

Flora and Fauna

Virtual Tour



The basic design of the Hoffman kiln dates back to the mid 19th century.  Originally developed for use in brickmaking, the design was first patented in Germany in 1858 by its inventor, the engineer Friedrich Hoffman.  It was later modified for lime burning. Humphrey Chamberlain took out an English patent in 1868. The Llanymynech kiln was built in 1898/9. 

Llanymynech hill is rich in dolomite, a form of limestone containing magnesium, or calcium magnesium carbonate to give it its full chemical name. This limestone rock was burnt in the kiln with coal which was brought in by horse and cart, canal, railways or tramways from colliery workings at Sweeney, Coed-y-Go, Drill & Trefonen, all areas just south of Oswestry.  The process changed limestone (calcium carbonate) into calcium oxide and carbon dioxide, and generated considerable smoke, gas and heat.

 In 1814, 45,000 tons of rock and lime left the site and 11,000 tons of coal were shipped in. All burning and quarrying finished in 1914. In 1920, 9,000 tons of coal passed the site to other kilns along the canal to Welshpool and beyond . A massive breach closed the canal in 1936. British Waterways hope to have it restored by 2007?.


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