Craven Lime Works is located between the villages of Langcliffe and Stainforth in the southwestern part of the Yorkshire Dales. The star attraction from a photography perspective is the huge Hoffman kiln. Built in 1873, the kiln is one of the best preserved of its type in the country. The kiln turned limestone into burnt lime for use on farmland or for making mortar, as well as a number of other uses¹. The Craven Lime Works area has a number of other old buildings and kilns to explore, with helpful signs explaining some of the history.
As you approach the Hoffman kiln, you get a sense of just how huge it is. From the nearest entrance to the information sign, you get an impressive view down the entire length of the kiln. It was fairly bright when I arrived, but inside it is quite dark. You definitely need a tripod to get good photos. A torch is useful at the darker end, where some of the doors are bricked up. There are numerous doors down the length of the kiln on both sides and I found them an interesting subject in themselves.
The strong contrasting light inside the kiln was drawing me to try out some black and white photos. As there isn’t much colour inside the kiln anyway, I tried concentrating on the light and textures. Trying to get the exposure right was however proving difficult. I like the outcome though, even if parts are over/underexposed!
The setting of Craven Lime Works is pretty spectacular, with the limestone cliffs soaring above you. This is also a bird breeding site, including peregrines, so some of the tracks by the cliff may be closed at certain times of the year to avoid disturbance.
If you fancy photographing something a bit different from the usual landscapes, or you like industrial settings, Craven Lime Works is a good Yorkshire photography location, rain or shine. Here are a few more of my photos from my visit:
|Approximate post code (for sat nav)||BD24 9NU|
|Directions/ parking||If driving up Stainforth Road from the village of Langcliffe, you will see some large green buildings on your left hand side. Directly opposite these is a narrow road that leads under a railway bridge (there is no signage). Go under the bridge and follow the road around to the left. After a short while there is a sign pointing right towards the parking area at the end of the road. The parking is free.|
|Entrance||To get to the Hoffman kiln, walk back along the road towards the house. To the right of the house is a gate that looks like this. The Hoffman kiln is directly across the yard.
This is the location of Craven Lime Works:
Notes for next time
- Explore more of the area
- Come after heavy rain – I’ve seen some photos with reflections in puddles that look interesting
¹ Craven Museum and Gallery, The Hoffman Kiln, https://www.cravenmuseum.org/archaeology/fact-sheets/the-hoffmann-kiln/ [accessed 02 February 2017]