From 1880 until 1944, the lime kilns in the structure in front of you produced over 50 tonnes of quicklime a day. During the 1800s, the demand for quicklime increased for the growing steel and chemical industries as well as agriculture. To meet this demand, limestone quarries and kilns opened next to railways like this Midland line, now the Monsal Trail. Trucks used to bring in coal to burn in the kilns and take the quicklime away.
Limestone turns to quicklime when it is heated in a kiln (calcined). During the process the stone turns pale and cracks. The end result is quicklime, which is used in cement and mortar, and also by farmers to improve soils. The remains of lime kilns can be seen in many places in the Peak District, such as here on the Monsal Trail