Yesterday the CALCH team travelled to Brecon to meet with Glandŵr Cymru (the Canal & River Trust in Wales) to discuss links between the lime industry on the Black Mountain and the Brecon and Monmouth Canal.
The canal was built to transport limestone and lime, and it was very interesting to see the different groups of limekilns between Brecon and Crickhowell, and to learn about the network of horse drawn trams that linked with the canal.
We discussed the conservation of kilns, options for interpretation, improving access and other ideas about presenting the kilns to visitors. The canal itself is a great tourist attraction, and the lime kilns could be interesting features, if only they weren’t over grown and in need of repair.
Glandŵr Cymru have plans to improve the condition and accessibility of some of the kilns along the canal, and work has already begun at Watton Kilns in Brecon where a group of hard working volunteers have been working with The Green Valleys to clear overgrowth and repoint the stonework.
From a CALCH point of view it was interesting to see the forms of interpretation used to explain the heritage of the canal, many of which incorporate a replica tram carriage similar to those which would have been used to transfer burnt lime from the kilns to where it was needed.
Hopefully we can share some more ideas with Glandŵr Cymru in the future!