Location Twyford Waterworks
County Hampshire
Grid Reference SU 493248
Date of visit 5 October 2003


The kilns at Twyford Waterworks were employed to produce quicklime for the water softening process employed here. Two were erected in 1903 and are largely roofed over. A further three to the same design followed in 1930.

These are of the intermittent 'flare kiln' design and burned chalk from the adjacent quarry. This had to be in pieces of at least 3 inches across to allow free flow of air through the kiln whilst burning. They were fired from the stokehole for the whole burn of the kiln.




A temperature of at least 1650 degrees fahrenheit (900 degrees centigrade) was required to be maintained for two days to achieve complete conversion of the chalk to quicklime. The emptying was undertaken through both the high level charging door and the stokeholes. A complete cycle of loading, firing, cooling and emptying a kiln took about one week.



The Twyford kilns were taken out of use in 1939 at the start of World War II as it was thought that the glare of burning could have aided enemy aircraft to navigate. Trial screens over the kilns proved unsuccessful. After the war they were not restarted.

The Twyford Waterworks Trust now manages the preserved works and holds a number of open days throughout the year. Details can be found at their website. There is also another website with further details and images.

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© David Kitching 2013

Page last updated 8.1.2013