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County-wide historic landscape award for restoration of a Peak District lime kiln

A recently restored nineteenth century lime kiln located in the heart of the Peak District National Park countryside has won an architecture award from the Derbyshire Historic Buildings Trust.

The limestone built structure – a Grade II listed building – won the ‘Restoration of an Historic Garden or Landscape’ award for its significance in the wider landscape at Minninglow.

The award was presented by architectural historian Jeremy Musson to the landowner Mark Edge and the architect Dan Greenway of Evans Vettori, during a ceremony at Buxton Crescent’s Assembly Rooms.

Derek Latham, chair of Derbyshire Historic Buildings Trust, said, “Lime kilns are a visible link in the landscape to our agricultural and industrial past. It is important to preserve these structures in place to reveal the stories of the landscape through time. This kiln is an important historic feature in its setting and its excellent restoration retains it for people’s enjoyment and understanding now and in the future.”

Minninglow lime kiln is of special interest because it is believed to have produced lime for the construction of the Cromford and High Peak railway and embankment, which now forms part of the High Peak Trail.

It is a large lime kiln built in limestone blocks, it stands five metres high and is set into a cutting in the hill.

Back in the day, limestone would have been extracted from a small quarry nearby, broken up and fed into the top of the kiln, to be burnt and raked out from the arch below.

Once the railway was running, lime produced by the kiln may have been transported elsewhere for use in agriculture, construction or other industries, until it eventually fell out of use.

The lime kiln collapsed during the exceptionally wet winter of 2019/2020 bringing down a large portion of the structure. Incredibly, it revealed that the last ‘charge’ of limestone was never fired and remained in the kiln. Some of the kiln walls were intact too.

Through FiPL, the National Park awarded a £96,000 grant to the landowner for the restoration of the Minninglow lime kiln.

With listed building consent obtained, the restoration took place in summer 2022. The restoration work involved replicating the limekiln’s original stone coursing – fortunately, there were photographs to refer to. Stones were specially selected and placed with weathered faces on the exterior surface. The surrounding soil was also stabilised.

Mark Edge, from Minninglow Grange Farm, said, “The lime kiln is very visible due to its size and position, it’s seen by people passing by on the trail, so when it collapsed we wanted to repair it.

“We're passionate about preserving our agricultural and industrial heritage, this lime kiln played an important part in the past. Thanks to the painstaking efforts of the stone masons and the support of the Peak District National Park Authority, we’ve been able to save this unique historic feature for people to appreciate now and in the future.”

Thanks to the Edge family, walkers are able to access the lime kiln directly from the High Peak Trail. The nearest car park is at Minninglow Car Park, DE4 2PN. The lime kiln is a 15-minute walk away along the trail in the direction of tree-topped Minninglow Hill.

For more information about the FiPL programme for farmers and land managers, and FiPL projects in the Peak District National Park, visit www.peak


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