Categories of Special Interest
1860 - 1900
Freestanding single-bay lime kiln on rectangular-plan, erected c. 1860. Tapers outwards towards base. Now out of use. Constructed of coursed rubble stone masonry with roughly squared quoins to corners. Square-headed opening to front (south), the former oven aperture, having timber lintel over and with yellow brick lining to interior. Former loading chamber to the north having rubble masonry construction.. Built into hillside adjacent to former quarries. Earthen embankment to rear formerly giving access to loading chamber. Set back from road in rural location to the east of Convoy.
This interesting former lime kiln, probably erected during the second half of the nineteenth-century, survives in good condition and retains its early character. It is well-built using local rubble stone masonry and is an appealing and unassuming element of the agricultural/industrial and social heritage of County Donegal. The embankment to the rear was built/modified to allow for the easy loading of stone through an opening in the roof structure, while the aperture to the front was used to fire the oven to burn the stone and produce lime. Lime kilns appear to have come into popular use in Ireland during the eighteenth century and were a very common feature in the rural landscape up until the first decades of the twentieth century. They were used to burn limestone to produce lime, which was used as an agricultural fertiliser and spread on agricultural land, or in construction as a mortar and a render. Lime was also used for lime-washing buildings, particularly farm buildings, as it was regarded as a cleansing agent at the time. Small rural lime kilns started to go out of common usage during the late nineteenth-century with the advent of industrial-scale lime production facilities and improvements in the transport network, particularly the development of the railways. This was one of a number of lime kilns in the local area c. 1905 associated with limestone quarries to the east that are still in use. This simple feature is an interesting feature in the landscape to the east of Convoy, and is an integral element of the built heritage of the local area.