The project, led by Glandŵr Cymru, the Canal & River Trust in Wales, will see volunteers learn traditional skills to restore and conserve the historic structures.
Made possible by £60,700 funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and £30,000 from the Brecon Beacons Trust, the project will also include an interpretation trail, which will give visitors to the waterway an insight into its industrial heritage.
The lime kilns played a vital role in Wales' industrial history, being used to produce lime mortar for agricultural use and the construction trade. The raw materials of coal and limestone were brought to the kilns by canal boat and the finished product, burnt lime, was then transported by cart to local farms and by horse drawn tramway as far away as Hay-on-Wye and Kington.
Get in touch
Caroline Kendall, volunteer development coordinator at the Canal & River Trust, said: “We're really excited to get this project started, the lime kilns are such important parts of the history of the canal, and it's great to be able to give them the attention they deserve. We are very much relying on the support of the local community to give us a hand so if you're interested in learning something new and spending some time out by the water, we'd love for you to get in touch or come down to one of our events next week.”
Richard Bellamy, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Wales, said: “Without support from the National Lottery it would be very difficult for projects such as these to see the light of day. Thanks to National Lottery players, this Lime Kilns Trail project will tell an important story of Welsh industry, a period of change in our culture and in our ways of working.
“Volunteers will get the opportunity to learn new skills and contribute to preserving this important part of Welsh heritage for the future and I would encourage anyone thinking of contributing to this important work to get in touch with Glandŵr Cymru.”
Important heritage features
Alan Underwood, secretary of the Brecon Beacons Trust, said: “The Trust is pleased to offer its support for this exciting Lime kilns Trail project. The restoration and conservation of the kilns will not only retain these important heritage features for the future but also do much to promote the Monmouthshire & Brecon Canal as a key visitor attraction in the National Park. The Trustees also believe that in supporting the Lime kilns Trail, this initiative will ensure the canal continues to make as important a contribution to the local economy in the future as it did in the past. It is particularly pleasing that Glandŵr Cymru is therefore now actively encouraging as many people as possible to get involved!”
Glandŵr Cymru will be holding two information sessions for anyone interested in getting involved, on Thursday August 13 at Watton Lime Kilns (10.30am-4pm) and on Friday August 14 at Goytre Wharf (11am-3pm).