Kirkby Gate lime kiln

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View of Kirkby Gate lime kiln MYD36127 (c) YDNPA, 2023

View of Kirkby Gate lime kiln MYD36127 (c) YDNPA, 2023

This well-preserved late 19th century draw type lime kiln, sited near to Kirkby Gate was ideally situated to exploit the limestone outcrops all around it. A small-scale commercial lime kiln such as this one was built to burn limestone for local use. The quicklime produced was slaked with water to produce calcium hydroxide (slaked lime). This was mostly used to improve grassland by reducing the acidity of the soil, especially of intake land or reclaimed moorland during the enclosures of the 18th and 19th centuries. Slaked lime was also an important ingredient in making lime mortar. This example seems to have been relatively short lived since the quarries around it are small. Its owners probably couldn’t compete with more efficient and advanced production elsewhere, for example the Hoffmann Kiln at Craven Lime Works 5 miles to the west.

Kirkby Gate lime kiln MYD36127 (c) David Johnson, 2004

Kirkby Gate lime kiln MYD36127 (c) David Johnson, 2004


Johnson, David (2002) Limestone Industries of the Yorkshire Dales. Stroud: Tempus


At north end of Airton take turn signed to 'Settle'. After 1 mile take public footpath on right signed to 'Kirkby Malham'. Site can be viewed over wall on right after about 300 metres. No public access.

Public Transport Details

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


Steep stone step stile at start. Some inclines. Path through grass, rough and muddy in places.