Greenhall Lime Pits

2009 Lime pit at Greenhall

2009 Lime pit at Greenhall

Pictured here by Jim Brown is a Lime Pit at Greenhall. Sometimes mistaken for bomb craters, these pits date back to the 18th  and were essentially small mines to extract lime.

The pits were often known as Bell pits, due to the shape of an inverted bell. In times of heavy rainfall, they were prone to flooding and certainly now they are no longer in use, have become deep, water logged pools. With rainfall, the water can often become milky, a sign of the lime present in the pit. They also attract frogs as a suitable spawning area and can be swamped by tadpoles!

Although this particular pit is near Greenhall, many other pits exist at Calderwood, Auchentibber and Crossbasket. The Agricultural revolution of the 18th Century created an enormous demand for lime. The substance reduced the acidity of the soil and made a good fertiliser. Before it could be used in the soil, the lime had to be be burned in kilns, the largest of which is still intact in High Blantyre at Auchentibber.

Lime was later used in cement and mortar which saw it mined to exhaustion around Blantyre in the 19th Century.

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