Oddies Lane sow kilns

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Oddies Lane sow kilns MYD36619 (c) YDNPA, 2023

Oddies Lane sow kilns MYD36619 (c) YDNPA, 2023

This kiln appears as a well-preserved, shallow, grassy hollow close to the bridge where the road crosses a small stream. The hollow – the bowl – is 2.5 metres wide and 1.9 metres long, about 50cm deep, with an entrance funnel facing south east. The kiln was built into a pre-existing embankment. It is a typical clamp or sow kiln and is quite unlike the stone-built draw kilns that can be seen across the Dales. Kilns of this type pre-date stone-built kilns, and could have been in use at any time from the late Medieval period to the 19th century.

Pieces of limestone were collected, probably from the ground surface rather than being quarried. Alternate layers of stone and fuel were laid in the kiln bowl and the fire was lit. The mass of fuel and stone was allowed to slowly burn through over a number of days but the rate of burn would have been controlled through the funnel, or stoking hole. When filled, the mass was probably covered with turves to keep out the weather. The limeburner had his way of knowing when the burning process was completed, and he would have then dismantled the whole mass to remove the burnt lime, or quicklime. The lime would have been contaminated with fuel residue so was not very pure, and the main reason for producing the lime must have been for spreading on pastureland to improve the quality of the grass.


From B6255 from Ingleton to Hawes, take left hand turn signed to Chapel-le Dale church. Follow Oddies Lane for 1 mile. Kilns lies 150 metres apart on right hand side of road just after a walled culvert and several massive boulders. View from roadside.

Public Transport Details

Nearest town/village: Chapel le Dale turn. Call Traveline on 0870 608 2 608 to plan your journey. After the welcome message key in 885 for North Yorkshire information.


Viewable from roadside.