Boddin The 18th century limekilns at Boddin Point were noted in the 2009 Angus Coastal Zone Assessment Survey as being threatened by coastal erosion.
The kilns were built during a period when agrarian improvements and enclosure created an enormous demand for lime, which was used until the late 19th century to reduce acidity and improve the workability and drainage properties of heavy clay soils.
The Second Statistical Account (1835) notes that limestone was first extracted from the headland at Boddin in 1696 and that the lime workings were abandoned in 1831. Three kiln bowls are depicted on the First Edition Ordnance survey map of 1865. Today, two of the kilns are clearly visible; the third kiln is now almost completely buried within an earthwork mound. The visible structures consist of a 4-draw kiln and a 3-draw kiln and these are thought to have been constructed c. 1750 by Robert Scott of Dunninald.
Erosion has led to the collapse of a substantial portion of the southwest quadrant of the structure. At least two thirds of the west wall and the southwest corner of the southern wall of the structure have collapsed, exposing the vulnerable rubble and soil core of the monument. The bedrock platform upon which the whole of the western edge of the monument is constructed comprises a narrow band of sandstone underlain by softer mudstones and siltstones, which are being eroded by wave action. Significant undercutting of the rock platform suggests that further collapse of the monument is imminent.
Description of the kilns
There are three kilns built at the end of the headland
at Boddin. Kiln 1 mainly survives under an earthwork
mound, though part of the stone lining of the burning
chamber is still visible. The main kiln block is retained
by substantial stone walls to the south, north and
west. The north wall of kiln 2 is almost 8 metres
high, and that of kiln 3 is almost 9 metres. The walls
retain an earth bank and dumped material into which
the burning chambers were constructed. A ramp circles
around the eastern and southern parts of the kiln
block, leading to the top of the burning chambers
to allow charging with fuel and limestone. Once lit,
a draught was provided for the fire through the draw
holes set into arched recesses in the thick kiln walls.
Kiln 2 has three draw holes and kiln 3 has four draw
holes. Both kilns were connected by an east-west oriented
brick-vaulted tunnel, which also gave access to the
base of both burning chambers.
The kilns were recorded with a terrestrial laser scanner,
supported by photography and basic historical research,
in order to create a detailed digital record of the
monument. The work was undertaken as a collaborative
project between SCAPE and the School of Geography,
Archaeology and Palaeoecology, Queen’s University,
Belfast. The survey was undertaken between February
23rd and February 27th 2010. Data was captured of
the external and internal surfaces of the kilns with
a Leica 3D laser scanner (HDS 3000). Over 40 million
points were captured, enabling the production of 2D
and 3D elevations, sections, plans and ‘fly through’
To download the report on the survey, including a
selection of images, click
The SCAPE Trust thanks John Stansfeld of Dunninald
for access to the Boddin limekilns and for his interest
in the project. The support of Noel Fojut and funding
from Historic Scotland enabled the project to take
place and is gratefully acknowledged.