Flinders Ranges Lime Kilns

Sunday, Jul 04, 2021 at 18:23

Stephen L (Clare) SA

The Flinders Ranges is well known for its rugged beauty, and the many old stone ruins that can be found all throughout the area.

Have you ever wondered how they were made over 100 years ago without modern day cement, and why so many are still standing today. The same also applies to the many old stone cottages and castles found throughout Europe.

The key to their strength was from a local product and when converted from stone to a powder, and when water and sand was added, you had what they called lime mortar and this was then the key strength of any of the stone structures that were being built.

The lime powder was made be building lime kilns, large holes or pits in the ground where they placed timber to be burnt and on top of that, they used local Flinders Ranges dolomite!rock that was found in the area.

By heaping wood in the bottom of the kilns then laying the rocks on top, they would then light a fire until the rock was reduced to powder.

This job would take many hours for this process to take place and when the kilns had cooled down, this fine powder was then shovelled from the kilns and they then had the key ingredient to use with sand from the many creeks to start the building process.

This lime mortar was also used in the construction and the many bridges and culverts that formed part of the Great Northern Railway, and today, there are many fine examples still standing today.

These old lime kilns are found on Merna Mora Station, north of Hawker and were constricted by the workers from the Port Augusta and Government Gums Railway.

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