Limekiln Topo Survey in Beadnell

Beadnell info

Scope of the project

The three lime kilns in Beadnell Bay in Northumberland are under the wing of The National Trust as they have such regional historic significance that they are Grade II listed. The Gridmark Survey team were selected due to our ever-growing experience in geospatial survey work carried out on heritage sites.

The specification was to carry out a topographical survey of the immediate area surrounding the Lime Kilns alongside a Measured Building Survey of the Lime Kilns themselves.  

The popularity of The Great Pottery Throw Down and its charismatic host Keith Brymer Jones has reacquainted millions of viewers with the humble kiln in recent years.  But like the creations of contestants of Channel 4’s surprising flagship reality show, not all kilns are built equally.

The architects required detailed floor plans and multiple elevation drawings to feed in to their vital, ongoing preservation work but also specifically to enable the design of a new footpath and rooftop viewing platform to provide members of the public safe access to the top of the kilns for future generations to learn about their historical significance.

Beadnell Best Quote
Topo Equipment
Limekiln topo

Site and technical challenges

The nature of the project was a case in point for the team as we had to position total stations all around the site and it was easy to understand through first-hand experience how members of the public could put themselves at risk of injury exploring the top of the kilns in particular.

The final kiln to be constructed back in the early 1790s is known simply as “Pot C” and it would be an understatement to say that it had seen better days.  Of course, all of our sites are risk assessed but there are areas that look close to collapse – hence the need for such detail in the survey reports so that remedial work can be planned where required.

There were also some relatively unique timing challenges on the site which were linked to the tides.  The first was the fact that we had to plan our work to synchronise with the tide going out as this was the only way we could get far enough away from the seaward side of the kilns to gather the required level of data – the only solution would have involved the team donning their Speedos and we all agreed that the locals and tourists were far too nice to have that inflicted upon them.

Whilst the kilns were originally designed to make quicklime (used in building mortar and fertiliser) which was largely shipped to Scotland, they were repurposed in the 1820s and were used for smoking herring.  But more recently they have found a third life which is a storage facility for the local lobster fishing crews – so we needed to be respectful of their need for access as the last thing we wanted to do was to make them crabby……………………..ahem.

BEadnell stats

Points of Interest

It isn’t hard to see why Beadnell Bay, with its rare west facing harbour, is so popular with tourists and we were lucky enough to call it our office for a short period.  

Being part of any heritage project is always a privilege and to know that our data will help more people understand the importance of these unique structures warmed our hearts almost (but not quite) as much as the local fish and chips, which due to a little known by-law are a legal requirement for any visiting contractor to have for their lunch.

Kiln Topo view
Kiln Topo Survey
Beadnell Mooney Quote

If you have topographic survey requirements and believe that Gridmark Survey might be able to help you with your project and promise not to tell any terrible dad jokes then please get in touch with one of our friendly team and we can discuss your specific needs.

Verified by MonsterInsights