Marple Lime Kilns

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Marple Lime Kilns

The Lime Kilns are only a 10 minute walk from Marple town centre, so you can park in any public car park and enjoy the walk up the locks.

You can also park on Strines Road, and walk up Lime Kiln Lane, taking you past the old Lime Loading shed and Stables.

Idyllic calm, among industrial splendor

When Marple Lime Kilns were built more than 200 years ago, Samuel Oldknow was determined they would be extraordinary. Not only would they create a whole new industry in Marple - burning and transporting limestone that was dug from from high up in the Peak Forest - but they would look beautiful, too.

Dramatic, gothic facades, tall chimneys and carved stone - the finished structure (built in several stages from 1797 -1801) looked more like a castle than a place of work.

These days only romantic ruins remain. But the community his empire cultivated continues, on the beautiful banks of the Peak Forest Canal.

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Visiting Marple Lime Kilns

Perfect for anyone seeking to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, the idyllic calm of the canal and peaceful woodland makes Marple a wonderful place to spend the day.

Stroll along the canal’s 16 locks, relax on the greens and watch the boaters sail past. Visit the site of the ancient lime kilns, as well as the surviving bridges and learn more about the town’s industrial heritage.

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Plan your visit

Getting here

The Lime Kilns are only a 10 minute walk from Marple town centre, so you can park in any public car park and enjoy the walk up the locks.

You can also park on Strines Road, and walk up Lime Kiln Lane, taking you past the old Lime Loading shed and Stables.

By boat, the Kilns are off a private marina, originally Oldknow's private cut. Simply moor up on the Peak Forest Canal and wander over for a look.

Facilities

Next to the Lime Kilns you’ll find Marple Social and Forces Club, where you could stop for refreshments. Or why not take a stroll down the Locks into Marple town centre, where there are plenty of cafes and shops.

If you want to make a day of it, then we suggest you head to Mellor Mill, taking the ‘Apprentice Walk’ past the Pee Stones. Download our Map & Guide below for the route.

Our favourite facts

Oldknow’s workers lived in the kiln buildings

There’s evidence to suggest that homes were built on top of the great kiln buildings, meaning that workers lived and socialised within the structure itself. Oldknow was a great believer in community, and enjoyed providing for those worked for him.

‘Posset bridge’ - the bridge that commemorates breakfast

Bridge 18 is better known as ‘Posset Bridge’, so called because Oldknow provided his workers with Ale Posset  (a hot drink made from milk curdled with beer) for breakfast. He hoped it might encourage them to work harder and faster (and it worked!)

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It’s a hidden gem

A recent survey showed that fewer than 50% of the local residents even knew the lime kilns existed! With recent renovations the word has begin to spread - why not visit Marple’s hidden treasure before the secret is out…

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Map & Guide

Map & Guide of Oldknow's Legacy in Marple & Mellor

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Take the Tour

Plug in your earphones, put your phone away and listen as Samuel Oldknow takes you on a tour of his finest work. All triggered via the magic of bluetooth and beacons.

Available in App Store and Google Play!

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Upcoming

Community Dig at Marple Lime Kilns

Build a Lime Kiln

Hot Lime Mortar building skills

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