Quarried extensively in Sedgley, Dudley and Walsall, limestone was one of the great wealth of raw materials that contributed to the successful industrial development of the Black Country. It was used in iron making as a flux in the furnaces but could also be converted to lime by burning.
‘Quicklime’ was used to make mortar and plaster for the building trade, in agriculture as a fertiliser and as ‘slaked’ lime for making whitewash.
The large set of kilns overlooking the village were built in 1842 and were in use until about 1926, burning limestone excavated from nearby Castle Hill and Wren’s Nest. Twenty-eight feet high chimneys topped the shafts of the kilns and belched out smoke and fumes continuously.
The lime works and canal basin were once at the hub of industrial activity within the Black Country.
The canal arm was built from the main Wolverhampton-Birmingham line especially to serve these kilns.
Earlier ‘horseshoe’ and ‘shaft’ kilns were built near the entrance to Dudley Canal Tunnel.
The underground canals were built in the late eighteenth century to carry stone from the mines and were linked into the Midlands canal network.
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