Spencer kiln, Craven Lime Works

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Reconstruction drawing of the Spencer kiln, Craven Lime Works MYD36737 (c) YDNPA, 2023

Reconstruction drawing of the Spencer kiln, Craven Lime Works MYD36737 (c) YDNPA, 2023

Part of the supporting stonework for a pair of Spencer kilns survives at the Craven Lime Works site. Their date of construction is not known but the design was patented in 1900 and they are recorded on the 1907 version of the Ordnance Survey map so must have been built within that period of time. The firing chamber was made of huge steel plates. The stone buttresses supported the gantries along which the limestone and fuel for the kiln was hauled. This type of kiln produced a much purer product than the other kilns on site because the coal and limestone were burnt in separate chambers.

Nearby is an inclined plane. Steam-powered winding gear hauled wagons up and down tramways laid on these carefully graded inclines in order to supply the various lime kilns with their raw materials. In this case coal used to burn the limestone was carried up to the top.

The kilns were used for the last time in 1927. In 1942, they were sold for scrap, the steel being necessary for the war effort.


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


Part of the Craven Lime Works complex. Situated off the B6479 about 3/4 mile north of Langcliffe village. When level with the paper mill turn right up a lane leading under a railway bridge. Follow the lane to a junction and bear right to a signed car park. There is a flight of steps next to interpretation board number 1 at the entrance to the car park. Go up these steps and follow the path round to the right and then down to interpretation board number 10.

Public Transport Details

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


Steps and steep incline to reach top of site and interpretation panel. Lower part of kiln remains obscured by trees.