Pub History

For those who are interested, we've put together a few facts, figures and photos about the pub and the adjacent old lime kiln.  Before we get into more ancient history, for those sentimentalists who can remember, here's a photo of the main bar that existed for much of the late 1900's and into the first couple of years of the new millennium.
Here's a great photo of the old pub taken, we believe, around 1900. From our understanding the pub cost somewhere in the region of £800 to build back in 1850! You will notice from the pub sign that it used to be called the 'Lime Burners Arms'.
The public house was obviously so named from the adjacent lime kiln, since they are separated by a mere fifty yards or so. Here's photo showing the more recent pub sign. 
The photo below is a wide view of the chalkpit with the kiln to the left, as it no doubt appeared when working. This photo is a copy of an old postcard, date unknown. The remaining pictures are of the kiln as it appeared in February 1994. Local stories suggest 2 workers died of accidents during the working life of the kiln.

Chalk, when heated to about 900 degrees centigrade becomes quicklime. Add water and it turns into slaked lime  which was once used as a fertilizer and for making mortar (when mixed with sand). Add more water still and it becomes lime putty, once used for plastering. Lime has been used for building since the Roman occupation - and possibly even before that. Its use as a fertilizer became widespread in the late 18th century, although records exist showing its use as early as 1382.

The use of small individual kilns, such as the one at Offton, probably started declining with the growth of the railways (about 1840 on) when it became cheaper to manufacture in larger centralised kilns and to ship it to where it was needed. The last record we have of the Offton kiln is in the census of 1881, when one Johnathon James was listed as a part-time limeburner and farmer.

 

The use of small individual kilns, such as the one at Offton, probably started declining with the growth of the railways (about 1840 on) when it became cheaper to manufacture in larger centralised kilns and to ship it to where it was needed. The last record we have of the Offton kiln is in the census of 1881, when one Johnathon James was listed as a part-time limeburner and farmer.

Similar kilns exist at Little Blakenham and Claydon - with detail differences. The retaining wall at Claydon bears the date 1724, although in informed circles, there is some doubt as the whether this is the genuine date of the building.
We hope you've enjoyed reading about the history of the pub and old lime kiln. There are even more fascinating old photos on display in the bar of the pub. If you have any further information please drop an email to the pub at  thelimeburners@outlook.com