Posted on 20th October 2017 / 760
Industry Type : Chemical Manufacture, Mining - Slate, Limestone and Granites
Public or Private Site? : Unknown
Condition : Ruins and Remnants

The Minera Limeworks were once the largest lime workings in the north of Wales!

It boasts 1 of only 3 Hoffmann kilns that were purpose-built for lime burning left in the UK!

The Minera Lime Company was established in 1852, but the site had been worked since 1620. In 1859, the total output from the Minera quarries was estimated to be around 300,000 tons, with 200,000 tons of this converted to lime.

On the quarry site, which is now a stunning habitat for wildlife, there are banks of disused lime kilns and the mighty Hoffmann Kiln complex (both Scheduled Ancient Monuments) and an impressive system of natural limestone caves!

Circa 1868, the company proudly erected a Hoffmann Kiln. This kiln still exists and is 1 of only 3 that were purpose-built for lime burning left in the UK! The other 2 are located at Langcliffe in Yorkshire and Llanymynech Limeworks.

There are 24 chambers each capable of holding 120 tons of limestone, which was burned sequentially, with a central chimney and the fuel was fed from above.

The quarries had their own steam locomotive and hundreds of open coal wagons and closed lime wagons, at its peak.

The works closed in 1972 and the Wrexham and Minera Branch railway lines were pulled up at around the same time. The quarrying of limestone, used for road building materials, did actually continue at the site until 1993 and for many years since closure, the quarry served as storage for road building materials.

It may be of interest to model collectors out there that Hornby Railways and Dapol both have model wagons detailing the Minera Lime Co.

The Minera Quarry Trust was established in 2005 with the explicit aim of conserving the former quarry site for the benefit of the public. Since then the trust has made significant progress in developing a plan of action for the site and they negotiated with Lafarge (the then owners) about the future of the site.

Since then, the North Wales Wildlife Trust have taken over the site (announced to members on in Sept 2017), so watch this space folks!

As is the site wasn’t special enough, the quarry contains entrances to important caves; Ogof Dydd Byraf and Ogof Llyn Du, whose passages come very close to Ogof Cefn-y-Gist and Ogof Llyn Parc. They are linked to many underground rivers.

Check out the latest info about safety and visiting the site on the North Wales Wildlife Trust webpage – HERE!

The Wildlife Trust report that the quarry’s wildlife today, covered by several statutory designations, includes at least 3 species of bat (Lesser Horseshoes, Brown Long-eared and Natterer’s, probably a Chubby-Bat somewhere there as well!) and cliff-dwelling birds such as the peregrine falcon and raven. Perhaps most important of all, however, is its fabulous plant community, featuring many species specialising in limestone grassland (pyramidal, fragrant, marsh and frog orchids, round-leaved wintergreen, butterwort, autumn gentian, yellow bird’s nest, moonwort … the list goes on!).

The wWildlife Trust want to safeguard the site for the future in partnership with local people and make it a true community asset, with access routes and trails around key features; an ongoing series of public events; and of course a programme of essential conservation work, including scrub clearance and the reintroduction of long-absent controlled grazing – joyous!

 

Minera, Coedpoeth, Gwynfryn and Wrexham

Minera Lime Works

The Minera Limeworks were once the largest lime workings in the north of Wales!

It boasts 1 of only 3 Hoffmann kilns that were purpose-built for lime burning left in the UK!

The Minera Lime Company was established in 1852, but the site had been worked since 1620. In 1859, the total output from the Minera quarries was estimated to be around 300,000 tons, with 200,000 tons of this converted to lime.

On the quarry site, which is now a stunning habitat for wildlife, there are banks of disused lime kilns and the mighty Hoffmann Kiln complex (both Scheduled Ancient Monuments) and an impressive system of natural limestone caves!

Circa 1868, the company proudly erected a Hoffmann Kiln. This kiln still exists and is 1 of only 3 that were purpose-built for lime burning left in the UK! The other 2 are located at Langcliffe in Yorkshire and Llanymynech Limeworks.

There are 24 chambers each capable of holding 120 tons of limestone, which was burned sequentially, with a central chimney and the fuel was fed from above.

The quarries had their own steam locomotive and hundreds of open coal wagons and closed lime wagons, at its peak.

The works closed in 1972 and the Wrexham and Minera Branch railway lines were pulled up at around the same time. The quarrying of limestone, used for road building materials, did actually continue at the site until 1993 and for many years since closure, the quarry served as storage for road building materials.

It may be of interest to model collectors out there that Hornby Railways and Dapol both have model wagons detailing the Minera Lime Co.

The Minera Quarry Trust was established in 2005 with the explicit aim of conserving the former quarry site for the benefit of the public. Since then the trust has made significant progress in developing a plan of action for the site and they negotiated with Lafarge (the then owners) about the future of the site.

Since then, the North Wales Wildlife Trust have taken over the site (announced to members on in Sept 2017), so watch this space folks!

As is the site wasn’t special enough, the quarry contains entrances to important caves; Ogof Dydd Byraf and Ogof Llyn Du, whose passages come very close to Ogof Cefn-y-Gist and Ogof Llyn Parc. They are linked to many underground rivers.

Check out the latest info about safety and visiting the site on the North Wales Wildlife Trust webpage – HERE!

The Wildlife Trust report that the quarry’s wildlife today, covered by several statutory designations, includes at least 3 species of bat (Lesser Horseshoes, Brown Long-eared and Natterer’s, probably a Chubby-Bat somewhere there as well!) and cliff-dwelling birds such as the peregrine falcon and raven. Perhaps most important of all, however, is its fabulous plant community, featuring many species specialising in limestone grassland (pyramidal, fragrant, marsh and frog orchids, round-leaved wintergreen, butterwort, autumn gentian, yellow bird’s nest, moonwort … the list goes on!).

The wWildlife Trust want to safeguard the site for the future in partnership with local people and make it a true community asset, with access routes and trails around key features; an ongoing series of public events; and of course a programme of essential conservation work, including scrub clearance and the reintroduction of long-absent controlled grazing – joyous!

 

Minera, Coedpoeth, Gwynfryn and Wrexham

Minera Lime Works
Industry Type : Chemical Manufacture, Mining - Slate, Limestone and Granites
Public or Private Site? : Unknown
Condition : Ruins and Remnants
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