Lime kilns are a widespread feature on the Irish landscape. In the 19th and early 20th centuries they were hugely important for agricultural and rural life.
Limestone was burned in these kilns to produce lime which had applications as a grassland fertiliser, for making whitewash and for disinfecting water.
Many of the thousands of lime kilns across Ireland have sadly fallen into disrepair. However, Kilmurry Tidy Towns in County Clare have adopted a lime kiln in their village and plan to conserve and restore it to its former glory. The kiln is distinctive in that both the arch and the pot are lined with red brick.
The Community Group: Kimurry Tidy Towns
Kilmurry Tidy Towns is a team of 12 like-minded people who meet regularly around the topic of the Tidy Towns Competition. Since its formation, the group has been actively involved in collaborating and working together with public bodies and other voluntary groups in the community to improve and develop Kilmurry village. They work with Clare County Council’s Environment and Heritage Departments and liaise with the local National School, the local Macra group, Men’s Shed, Vintage Group and Harvest Festival Group. They hope to further develop the story of their village for future generations as it has a fascinating history which they are only recently discovering.
With funding from the Heritage Council through the Creative Ireland / Adopt a Monument programme 2019, Kilmurry Tidy Towns undertook an Architectural Heritage Impact Assessment along with emergency conservation works to the kiln in order to make it an accessible heritage destination for the local community. James Powell, Conservation Engineer carried out the Architectural Heritage Impact Assessment and Eoin Madigan, Conservation Mason undertook the conservation works. Further conservation works to conserve the distinctive brick-lined pot are planned as part of the next phase of works.