Staffordshire Limekilns

Kilns at Froghall at the terminus of the Caldon Canal


The abundance of limestone at Caldon Low in North Staffordshire led to the development of a major quarrying industry in the area. Transport was a problem until the construction of the Caldon Canal which opened to traffic from its terminus at Froghall in December 1778.

Stone traffic on the canal was extensive with limestone being brought down a tramroad from the quarries to Froghall basin and coal along the canal for the various limekilns that were soon established.

The Cheddleton Lime Company, also known as the Caldon Lime Company, was formed by a partnership of John Gilbert senior,John Gilbert junior, Sampson Whieldon, Richard Hill and George Smith, who all had links with the Caldon Low quarries. Cheddleton became a limeburning centre with kilns close to the canal locks.

Limekilns along the canal were erected at Basford Bridge, Denford, Stanley Moss, Norton Green, Leek and Consall Forge. Other locations further afield supplied with Caldon limestone were the kilns at Etruria, Longport and Stone.

For further details of the canal trade see: 'The Caldon Canal and Tramroad' by Peter Lead. Published by Oakwood Press in 1990.

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Page last updated 27.3.2023