SCRCA Structure 247783: Ribblehead Railway Construction Camp: Field Limekiln and limestone quarry

SCRCA Location Introduction

The proximity of this small limekiln (and its adjacent small limestone quarry) to the Ribblehead Railway Construction Camp has led many people to speculate that it provided burnt lime for the mortar used during the construction of Ribblehead Viaduct (and the other major railway-related structures in this area). However, the SCRCA Project Team has not yet found any documentary, archaeological or other evidence to support this theory.

The kiln is a traditional field limekiln, and these typically produce a relatively low-grade of burnt lime. Such kilns are also extremely inefficient and it is highly unlikely that this one could have produced either the quality or the quantity of lime needed for the construction works in this area. Furthermore, a number of contemporary accounts clearly state that lime was transported by train from Barrow-on-Soar in Leicestershire to Ingleton, then carried up to the site on pack-horses and carts. The presence of this limekiln (and the adjacent quarry) is easily explained by the need to cheaply produce agricultural lime to 'improve' the acidic soils that occur naturally across much of the surrounding common land and enclosed fields.

This site has been included in the SCRCA Project database in order to record and publish the information provided above and to invite anyone with contradictory information to contact us.

Limekiln and limestone quarry in the Ribblehead Railway Construction Camp area

Key details from the Location Record

Location Type
Archaeological Site
Location Variant
Archaeologal Site - Quarry or Pit
Assessment status
Current Use(s)
Shown on a land plan?
Construction / installation period
2: MR construction phase (1869 to 31st Dec 1876)
Distance from London St.Pancras
247 miles (chains not estimated)
Position relative to running lines
This location IS visible from nearby publicly accessible land.
Accessibility (ease of access)
Protection Category
Scheduled Ancient Monument
Geographic Location
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List Entry Extract(s)

The information quoted below has been extracted from the relevant List Entries in 'The National Heritage List for England (NHLE) (

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List Entry Number (LEN) List Entry District List Entry Name
1015726 Craven Ribblehead railway construction camp and prehistoric field system

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Further Reading (Snippets)

The following 'snippets' contain additional information relating to this location.

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Errors and omissions
Reasonable efforts are being made to ensure the accuracy of the information obtained and uploaded as part of the SCRCA Project. However, it is possible that a few errors will have crept-in. If you notice any such errors, we would be grateful if you would bring them to our attention using the SCRCA Project Contact Form. The Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line and the members of the SCRCA Project Team do NOT guarantee the accuracy of the information contained in this database. If you intend to use and / or act upon any of this information, you are advised to verify its accuracy BEFORE doing so.