Duke opens lime kiln museum

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EIGHTEEN restored kilns at Amberley Museum, which had been used for burning chalk with coal to create lime, were officially opened last week by Prince Michael of Kent, the museum’s president, who shovelled a mixture of chalk and coal into the kiln top.

He paid tribute to the hard work of volunteers and said he always enjoyed visiting the museum.

The De Witt kilns were built in 1905 to a Belgian design by Hippolyte De Witt to burn chalk with coal to create lime. Unfortunately, the design was not successful and by 1910 all but two kilns had been converted to traditional English bottle kilns. Over the years the heat inside the kilns caused them to distort, making them structurally unsafe.

For full story of the Royal visit and a feature about the lime kilns, see West Sussex Gazette May 11