Riddler's lime kiln - detail of the tensioning bands

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Bruce Comfort on August 17, 2011

This elegant band tensioning device employs two opposing wedges operating against each other in a forged socket formed by loops at the two ends of the band. There is also a "feather" which would have been driven in to lock the device tight. There are two bands (in three pieces) one above the other with the tensioning sections displaced, around the top of the kiln furnace. They are disposed around the outer furnace wall which is made from ordinary bricks. The space between the inner furnace lining and the outer furnace has a row of bricks (making three layers visible at the top) but it is unlikely this interposed layer extends down the kiln and it is more likely that between this outer wall and the inner wall of firebricks is a cylinder of quarried material probably hand crushed and packed tightly to retain the shape of the furnace. This furnace stands proud of the bank behind it and the quoin blocks at the outer extremities of the wing-walls at right angles to the buttress walls, still show that masonry now gone extended both left and right to hold up the fill behind them and forming the working platform at the furnace mouth. Not being built into a bank or excavated from native rock at a cliff edge as many were (see my photos of the 1000 Acre Road kiln for a small kiln located entirely within native rock and fully excavated) exposes this kiln to the effects of the outward acting forces which are exerted when working it - particularly the expansion forces as the load heated up. These forces need to be resisted mechanically. There is no reason to suppose that there are not more ranks of bands like this, around the furnace tube, extending right down to its base although the large buttresses which are the most visible elements of the kiln will be taking some of that load at lower levels. http://www.panoramio.com/photo/57105098 shows these bands clearly - one has corroded through. The kiln may have upwards of 40,000 bricks in it, if its construction is as I have outlined. These industrial "machines" required much forethought as to their location and construction if they were to run profitably. Mrs Helen Fluit who has lived locally for some time advises that the kiln was last fired in 1938 and although at this time we don't know when it was built if we assume 1890 this is a 50 year life - not bad for something so basic in its construction.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS KILN IS ON PRIVATE LAND AND IS TO BE VIEWED ONLY FROM THE ROADSIDE. UNAUTHORISED ACCESS MAY DISTURB ANIMALS ON THE PROPERTY AND THE KILN IS DEEP AND DANGEROUS AND NOT FENCED. THERE IS ANOTHER KILN ACROSS THE ROAD ON RESERVE LAND WHICH IS BOTH LEGALY ACCESSIBLE AND SET-UP FOR PUBLIC VIEWING.

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on August 10, 2011
  • Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works
    by Bruce Comfort
    • Camera: SAMSUNG ES65, ES67 / VLUU ES65, ES67 / SAMSUNG SL50
    • Taken on 2011/08/09 16:05:03
    • Exposure: 0.001s (1/750)
    • Focal Length: 4.90mm
    • F/Stop: f/3.500
    • ISO Speed: ISO100
    • Exposure Bias: -0.30 EV
    • No flash

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