Former Lime Works, Canterbury Road, Faversham, Kent (KT-CAN04)

Top of one of the brick limekilns (© MoLAS)

Clients: Crest Nicholson (South East) Ltd

Author: Kieron Tyler

Site supervisor: Kieron Tyler

MoLAS was commissioned to record a group of standing structures relating to the former use of the site as a chalk quarry. Two large 19th-century lime kilns also survived. The site was located north of Canterbury Road, south-east of Faversham in Swale Borough. The investigation took place in May 2004.

The fieldwork was undertaken by MoLAS in association with Plowman Craven Associates, using a combination of photography and digital survey with a Cyrax 2500 scanner. Use of the Cyrax scanner meant the survey could be conducted in a much shorter time (in this case, a total of 2 days as against 4–6 days per structure using reflectorless EDM), which was of particular importance to the client.

The Cyrax produced a comprehensive three-dimensional scanned survey, with millimetric levels of accuracy, which was then used to produce plots for the detailed analysis of each elevation and/or structural component. The scanning produced a primary record as a ‘point cloud’, a collection of thousands of discrete points representing the surface of the structures, which was subsequently ‘clad’ for use in further visualisations..

The chalk pit is recorded from 1795 although it was mainly developed after 1838. The quarry expanded massively during the second half of the 19th century, and the first limekiln — a linked pair — is known at the site from 1864. The second limekiln was constructed by 1898.

This project represented the first time that a historic lime-working site has been recorded in such a way, as well as the first time that a Cyrax scanner had been used by MoLAS in archaeological fieldwork following a local authority planning condition. The comprehensive and accurate digital survey of the site produced detailed drawings of the structures and their component elements, including isometric reconstruction drawings.

For more information on our association with Plowman Craven and the uses of Cyrax scanning see here

This site report is extracted from MoLAS 2004: annual review

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