The Lime Kiln

Close to the Red Lion Hotel is an old limekiln. Burning lime has been an industry at Clovelly since the 14th century. Limestone was shipped from Wales, carried up from the beach by donkeys, and burned in the kiln using a coal called culm.
It was an exhausting and unpleasant process, giving off noxious fumes, which left the kiln minders emerging red-eyed and choking from the smoke-filled arches. The resulting lime was extracted from a hole at the bottom of the kiln. It was used as an agricultural fertilizer and to make mortar and whitewash – Clovelly houses used to be whitewashed in spring every year.

Lime Kiln