The quarry at Cocking Limeworks has occupied the site for upwards of 200 years, but the first documented reference was in 1833 when a rockfall caused the death of a worker.
In 1906, a lease was granted to 'Pepper and Sons' for the production of industrial grade lime, and two wood fuelled kilns were built. In 1921, the lease exchanged hands and 5 years later 6 new coal fired kilns were built - which still remain today.
The new owners made some other significant changes to the site and the production methods including an aerial ropeway that would have been linked to the quarry.
Production of sand-lime bricks ceased in 1985, the original wood fired kilns were demolished. The site concentrated on the manufacture of 'Calco' which is used in gardens and nurseries. The site wound down all operations in 1999 and has been slowly reclaimed by nature ever since.
The site is extremely tranquil, and made for a very relaxed explore. The ideal place to take my new lens (Sigma 10-20) for a test shoot. We covered much of the site, but it didn't occur to either of us to take the trail up to the quarry where more machinery is supposedly sat exposed to the elements.
The layout and condition of the buildings is very ramshackle, part of the reason why I enjoyed the site.
Visited with Reaperman.
Top of Kilns
Large crusher at the top of the site.
First covered part of the works.
Precarious steps and walkways!
The remaining 'battery' of kilns
1978 Leyland dumper truck, not taxed since 1991
We climbed up onto the service platforms for the kilns, avoiding rusty metal!
We never did find the abandoned Citroen Visa I had seen in some of the early reports!