KILLEANY KILN

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Killeany Kiln is a lime kiln that dates back to the 19th century. The Kiln is located on Inis Mór (Inishmore), the largest of the three Aran Islands, near Killeany Harbour. 

A lime kiln is a structure that was used to produce lime from limestone by burning it at high temperatures. Lime is a versatile substance that has many uses in agriculture, construction, and industry. For example, lime can be used to improve the quality of soil, to make mortar and plaster, to produce glass and ceramics, and to purify water.

Lime kilns were common in Ireland from the 18th to the 20th century, especially in rural areas where limestone was abundant. However, most of them have been demolished or fallen into ruin over time. Killeany Kiln is one of the few surviving examples of a lime kiln on the Aran Islands, which are known for their rocky and barren landscape.

Killeany Kiln was built around 1860, during the period of the Great Famine in Ireland. It is a square-plan structure with vertical faces of coursed rubble limestone. It has a limestone retaining arch on the seaward side, with a wrought-iron lintel below and a raking-out hole framed by iron and brickwork. The kiln was set into the slope of the hill to facilitate loading of crushed limestone from the top.

To produce lime, limestone was loaded into the kiln through an opening at the top, along with fuel such as coal, peat, or wood. The fire was lit at the bottom of the kiln and maintained for several days until the limestone was calcined, or reduced to quicklime. The quicklime was then raked out from the hole at the bottom and cooled with water. The lime was then bagged and transported by to other parts of Inis Mór or by boat to the other islands.

Killeany Kiln is a rare survival of a lime kiln on the Aran Islands. It is relatively intact and forms a distinctive group with the harbour and the medieval Arkin Castle. The kiln reflects the industrial and agricultural history of the islands, as well as their connection to the mainland and other coastal regions. The kiln also demonstrates the ingenuity and resilience of the islanders, who adapted to their harsh environment and made use of their limited resources.

Killeany Kiln is located about 4 km from Kilronan, the main village on Inis Mór. There is a signpost on the road that leads to the harbour and the kiln. The site is open to the public and free of charge. You can explore the kiln and its surroundings at your own pace, but please be respectful and careful not to damage or litter the site.

If you are interested in learning more about Killeany Kiln and other industrial heritage sites on Inis Mór, you can also join a guided tour with a local expert who can share more stories and insights about the history and culture of the island.

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53.104614, -9.660809

Killeany Kiln

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