North Devon is home to many unique and fascinating historical sites, and the Annery Kiln is defintely one of them.
Located on the left bank of the River Torridge near Half-Penny Bridge in the parish of Monkleigh, this former limekiln is a fascinating glimpse into North Devon’s industrial heritage.
History of Annery Kiln
Weare Giffard, the site of Annery Kiln, is situated near the tidal limit of the River Torridge. Coal and limestone had been brought upstream by boat for a long time before the building of the Rolle Canal in 1823-1827.
The kiln was sited here to import by river raw materials for the kiln, the product of which was lime fertilizer for use on inland agricultural fields.
The Annery limekiln complex comprised the kiln itself, a pond for slaking the calcium oxide from the kiln to produce the slaked lime, hydrated lime, or pickling lime. Several cottages were built nearby for the lime burners, shipbuilders, blacksmiths, etc., and storage buildings.
The old lime kiln is situated between the River Torridge and the now filled-in Rolle Canal built around 1827 and the railway that ran formerly from Bideford to Torrington, opened in 1872 and closed in 1966.
The old trackbed now forms a stretch of the Tarka Trail, a walking and cycling route.
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Why Does It Have This Name And What is a Kiln?
“Annery Kiln” gets its name from the estate it was a part of, Annery, located in the parish of Monkleigh in North Devon.
A kiln is a structure used for heating materials to high temperatures in order to transform them in some way, typically by drying, burning, or baking.
In the case of Annery Kiln, it was used to burn limestone to create lime fertilizer for use on agricultural fields. The kiln was strategically located near the River Torridge and the Rolle Canal to import raw materials and export the finished product.
The area around the kiln was also home to several cottages for workers and storage buildings.
Historic Bideford (Lost Devon County Council Page)
The Annery Limekiln Today
The Annery Limekiln has a ramp facing the river, three kilns (or burning ‘pots’), seven entrance doorways, and nine lower apertures for the removal of the calcined limestone.
The arrangement of the kilns gives an L-shaped compact structure. The top of the kilns was flat and large enough to allow for some storage of culm and limestone.
The kiln had excellent communications, originally being sited next to the river, but gaining later the additions of the canal, the road between Bideford and Torrington, as well as the new Half-Penny toll-bridge across the Torridge to Weare Giffard, built in 1835 by Lord Rolle and Mr. Tardrew.
Visiting Annery Kiln
Annery Kiln is a site that offers a glimpse into North Devon’s industrial heritage.
The old lime kiln is situated near Half-Penny Bridge, and the A386 road from Bideford to Great Torrington (Bideford EX39 5JE). Weare Giffard is the start of the tidal section of the River Torridge, and the old trackbed now forms a stretch of the Tarka Trail, a walking and cycling route.
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About the Author
Welcome to Bideford.com! I’m Matt, a seasoned explorer and avid fan of Bideford and the broader North Devon area. With over a decade of consistent family visits, virtually every weekend, I’ve immersed myself in the rich history and vibrant culture Bideford & North Devon.
On this site, you’ll find a wealth of knowledge amassed from my adventures here. From in-depth local guides to engaging blog posts about Bideford. Whether you’re looking for recommendations on things to do or guidance on where to stay we have you covered. Join me as we delve into the heart of Bideford, North Devon – a town that’s more than just a destination, but an experience waiting to be discovered.
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