Today was forecast a very hot day here in the UK. I wasn't going to go out anywhere today and was all set for wallowing in front of a fan with Netflix. But @inksurgeon messaged me and asked if I was doing anything. I stupidly agreed that we should travel in the 32 degree heat and off we drove to Ilkeston in Derbyshire. Thankfully the aircon on!
The idea was to do a spot of daylight lightpainting in an old WW2 air raid shelter I had found but on the way Rob suggested we visit or at least try to find an abandoned Hofmann Lime Kiln. The only other lime kiln I know of is more than 100 miles from me so finding one closer to home was of interest!
After the obligatory McDonalds, we parked up at what looked like the closest spot to the kiln. It was then only a short walk to find a galvanised metal pallisade fence surrounding the oblong / cylindical shape of the kiln. We wandered around the perimeter looking for a way in and eventually found a gap in the fence.
Now I'm the first to admit I need to lose weight but squeezing through a gap in a fence at my age is something I should really give up! But once inisde, the Hofmann Lime Kiln was well worth it!
The Hoffmann Continuous kiln was patented in 1858 by its German inventor Friedrich Hoffmann. Limestone was burned continuously in a circuit around the kiln and it took an average of six weeks for one whole circuit.
The kiln is lined with firebricks to withstand the intense heat. Behind the firebricks is a limestone rubble core, which helped to keep the heat in. In the roof are the small chutes down which crushed coal was dropped to keep the limestone burning. At floor level in the walls are the flue holes. Air was drawn from the outside under the burning limestone and the smoke went up the central core of the kiln to the chimney. Iron dampers on the roof allowed workers to regulate the draught in the flue system.
From inside the oven
I shot this from inside the brick baking area (or at least that's how I would describe it).
This kiln varied to the one I'd seen before in that there was a roof over the top of the kiln, Not much left of it though.
There are signs outside saying the roof is dangerous and at risk of collapse. I would have to agree with that....
At the other end looking towards the way in:
A cheeky shot of @inksurgeon operating his FPV drone:
A rocky way in for me and the bricks:
Getting my low light freak on because someone decided he'd leave his tripod in the car! Shot at ISO2500 and wide open at f1.8. Thankfully I also have an image stabilised camera:
I would never have dreamed I'd be posting a photo shot at ISO12800! Not too shabby.
It's possible to walk all the way around the circuit of the kiln:
Completing the circuit:
I'll be returning here with all the lightpainting gear sometime soon!
I usually specialise in shooting lightpainting images but occasionally dabble in urbex and artistic model photography. I'm always on the lookout for someone to collaborate with; please don't hesitate to get in touch if you'd like to create art.