Saturday, 9 July 2011

Lismore and the Lime Kilns

On landing, I immediately turned the boat’s bow into the waves and hauled it ashore transom first. Although the waves don’t look so big in the photographs, one or two were big enough to wash over the stern and I learned the hard way that its always worth keeping the sharp end pointing into the waves when launching or landing. I then sat and had some lunch before exploring the old kilns.

I didn’t get far in my exploration because the seagulls wheeled overhead making a terrible din. Some were still nesting and I didn’t want to disturb them too much so kept close to the ruins.

The ruins proved to be not so ruined. Someone had turned the old cottages into holiday homes and now stays in them for a couple of weeks a year. I guess they collect their fresh water in the rain butt when it runs off the cottage roof. This was common practice in the island communities as there is no plumbed water supplies or electricity.

The smaller cottage had been reroofed but also had a water butt collecting rain water.

The two lime kilns were long out of use and slowly falling into ruin. Limestone collected on the island was first crushed then mixed with layers of coal before being set alight to extract the lime.

Typically the kiln took a day to load, three days to fire, two days to cool and a day to unload before the next batch could be processed. As mentioned earlier, the lime industry around Lismore went into decline around the First World war. The lime was used for mortar and agricultural use.

Before heading back to the marina to retrieve the boat and head for home, I had a look down the east side of Lismore and promised myself that I would return and explore that part too.

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