A PIECE of Teesdale's 19th century industrial heritage has been restored.

Barningham Lime Kiln was once one of more than 800 operating throughout the dales but its crumbling remains were practically hidden from view by overgrown trees.

The restoration was undertaken by the Barningham Estate, supported by the Heart of Teesdale Landscape Partnership's community initiatives fund.

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Ed Milbank, of the Barningham Estate, said the kiln was reportedly still in use until the outbreak of the Second World War.

“Technically, this is a draw kiln, burnt limestone being drawn out of the kiln through a draw hole.

“Draw kilns had a permanent grate fixed over the furnace and the limestone was stacked above this in layers, alternating with layers of coal.”

He added: “As much as 10 tons of quicklime could have been produced daily through this kiln.”

The rock used in the process was extracted from a quarry above the kiln which extended through woods to the west.

“We hope this restoration will have ensured the lime kiln's survival for another two centuries,” added Mr Milbank.

Ian Fairbairn, of Stainton Grove-based contractor Fairbairns, said despite problems caused by the wet weather, it had been an interesting project to tackle.

“We had to remove a lot of the undergrowth – there were roots growing out of the wall and from the top.

“We also had to rebuild some of the stonework which was partially collapsed and we repointed some areas of the kiln with lime mortar, leaving other areas that were in good order intact.”

Heart of Teesdale partnership manager Charlotte Hursey added: “We hope it will inspire others to look after similar features in the landscape which can often be overlooked but which represent important parts of the local heritage.”

The lime kiln is accessible via a public footpath to the west of Barningham and features an interpretation board.

Jon Smith, chairman of Barningham Local History Group, said: “The lime kilns played an important role in the village for well over a century.

“We're delighted the restoration will encourage public awareness of them and their place in local industry and agriculture.”