Repairs all set to start on 18th-century kilns

The lime kilns at Beadnell.
The lime kilns at Beadnell.
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A conservation organisation has started work to protect historic structures which reflect the industrial heritage of a north Northumberland village.

The National Trust has begun work to stabilise the grade II-listed lime kilns at the harbour in Beadnell.

They were built in 1798 and comprise three large circular kilns around 30ft high.

In recent years, the kilns have become structurally unsound, meaning that for safety reasons, the National Trust has had to restrict public access.

The work will involve structural repairs to make the roof stable, which will mean the eventual removal of the temporary holding measures currently in place.

The schedule of work will include masonry consolidation, repairs and replacement and also masonry repointing, and will mean the removal of the props and metal fencing currently surrounding the site by the end of this year.

The project has been supported by Enterprise Neptune, which was launched in 1965 by The National Trust with the aim of protecting sections of the UK’s unique coastal heritage and habitats.

Now known as The Neptune Coastline Campaign, the Trust manages around 700 miles of coastline.

Money raised from the Coastline campaign helps the organisation to manage its coastal holdings and to acquire and protect more sites when appropriate.

Simon Lee, the Trust’s general manager for the Northumberland Coast, said: “The kilns have considerable landscape and coastal heritage value, but unfortunately they are currently in a poor state of repair, with some major structural issues, and because of this access to the public has been limited.

“We plan to have the structural work completed by the end of the year, which means that the building will be less at risk, with the potential to open up what are fundamentally beautiful and important local buildings for visitors and locals alike to enjoy again.”

The maintenance of the lime kilns has been an issue in the village for some time and the parish council had raised it in the past.

Planning permission for the work was granted in May this year, after concerns had been raised about the dangers of the structure following the partial collapse of the most southerly kiln on the seaward side.