Beehive Lime Kiln - Old Kiln Lakes:
In 1908 a Mr. W.E. Benton established a small lime manufacturing works at this foot of the Chiltern escarpment for the production of lump lime for agriculture and construction. This is the last remaining of five such flare-kilns used for lime burning that once produced up to 240 tons of lump lime per week until production ceased in 1938. For more information about the large cement works that grew up on the same site please see here.
The dome of the kiln rises about 6 metres from a brick base and is a bottle or bee-hive shape and with a large semi-circular arch on the NW side within which is three stoking holes on SE side. It is now a Grade II listed building and apart from the deep water-filled quarries, is the only sign of a once large manufacturing area that was home to the production of lime and cement.
Directions from station - 8 min walk:
1. Turn right at station entrance and follow road down towards the Chinnor Railway Yard
2. Turn left at bottom of the road (by Chinnor Railway Yard Gate) and go up Hill Side View road until a footpath leading to the Kiln appears.
Further points of interest:
1: The area around the Old Kiln Lakes estate also offers an unmarked, reasonably sized nature walking area which skirts the abandoned quarry workings. A gentle 15-30 min stroll could be a perfect idea following your trip on the train when the weather is clement - follow the signs from the Beehive kiln or ask any of the local residents for directions.
2: The dramatic backdrop of the abandoned quarries has been used in filming and for example, during April 2002 villagers had to get used to the sound of explosions and machine gun fire - the quarries and now demolished cement works were used to film part of the opening hovercraft sequence in the Bond movie, Die Another Day.
3: Another point of interest is that tunnelling machinery to bore the Channel Tunnels was first tested-out in the lower chalk quarries here (and reputedly it is said some of the machinery is still walled up - but it was abandoned and is now under water and totally inaccessible).
4: If you have children with you then perhaps finish your stroll with a visit to the Old Kiln Lakes Children’s Play Area.
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