New life at Craven Limeworks
Work is now well under way to bring new life to a fascinating "hidden" Victorian industrial site just south of Stainforth.
Walkers on a Dales High Way heading north from Settle towards Little Stainforth will look east across the River Ribble at the lovely limestone crags opposite. These crags, known as Stainforth Scar, are not a natural feature, but largely the result of quarrying.
Craven Limeworks and Langcliffe Quarry grew in the late nineteenth century, making full use of the new Settle-Carlisle Railway. Various industrial production methods were used on the site, including perhaps the best preserved Hoffman Kiln still existing in the country, constructed in 1873. This amazing structure is now a scheduled Ancient Monument.
After the works finally closed in the 1930s, parts of the site become a waste depot for the local council. In January 2021 Craven Council decided to redevelop the site, creating more than 26,000 square feet for a new business space, combining the refurbishment of the old traditional stone buildings together with new build to provide modern light industrial and office space.
The £3.2 million scheme, which was given planning consent by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, will also support preservation of the historic Hoffman Kiln and the wider site through a long-term conservation management plan.
Paul Shevlin, chief executive of Craven District Council, said: “I’m pleased we have appointed a local company for the construction phase of this important project.
“We know there is great demand for more modern, flexible workspace for new and existing smaller businesses in Craven. Providing much-needed additional workspace and high quality jobs in the district is a crucial part of our plans to attract and retain more young people and families to Craven, and ensure that our communities continue to thrive.”
He added: “This is a tricky site to develop, but thanks to grant funding we have been able to devise a scheme which benefits the local economy but also protects the future of the Hoffman Kiln.”
Dales High Way walkers stopping over at Stainforth would be well advised to take the short walk south and explore this amazing site.