News article created on 21 November 2016

Marple Lime Kilns Archeological Dig

Hear more from a member of our Digital Edge team on their recent visit to Marple Lime Kilns.

Marple Lime Kilns

On 27 October we turned back the clock to 1797 as we joined a team of volunteers excavating the 219-year-old Marple Lime Kilns.

The lime kilns were once important as they were the main source of limestone and distribution throughout the surrounding area. When we arrived in Marple, just outside of Manchester, I was pleasantly surprised to find a picturesque canalside packed with dog walkers and boaters enjoying the mild October day. After admiring the scene in front of us, it was time to head to the excavation site.

Once at the site, we quickly began speaking with some of the volunteers to find out more about the ‘Marple Lime Kilns’ and how they worked when they were open. We soon found out that the site that they were currently digging was home to the old weigh house that was used to weigh the limestone before it was transported.

As the group were busy digging, we decided to visit a site that had been recommended to us. This was the Mellor Mill, a site that had been previously excavated by another group of volunteers. The mill was once the ‘shining star’ of Samuels Oldknow’s empire and was the biggest spinning mill in the world. Burnt down in 1892, all that remains at the site are a few walls and a giant pit, which was once home to a 22-foot diameter waterwheel.

On return to the lime kilns site, we found that the group had uncovered a range of interesting objects, ranging from pieces of pottery to sheep teeth. It was nice to see that each item, no matter how strange it was, told a unique story about the history of the area and how different things were back when the kilns were open. After a hard earned lunch, we spoke to some members of the group about why they wanted to get involved in this project. The overall response was incredibly positive, with one volunteer saying: "It’s been great to get hands on and really get stuck in". 

Spending the day at the Marple Lime Kilns was brilliant. Everyone’s enthusiasm was truly uplifting and instantly put us in a good mood. I thoroughly enjoyed the day and would definitely attend an event like this one again!

Digital Edge are a team of young people working with the Trust to get even more young people involved in volunteering. To find out more about our work with young people visit our youth engagement pages

About this blog

The youth engagement team

The youth engagement team supports colleagues across the Trust to engage more young people in their work. We provide guidance to local teams and work together to deliver a range of projects to meet the needs, interests and aspirations of young people and the strategic priorities of the waterway. We endeavour to raise the Trust’s profile and reputation within the youth sector and work with a number of national partners to offer a wide range of activities for young people.

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