Landmark kiln is poised for upgrade if planners approve
THE future of a piece of Swansea's industrial past comes under the spotlight today.
Plans for the historic Mumbles lime kiln could see a partial rebuilding of the landmark, along with stabilisation work and an information board.
Part of the 19th century structure, which is privately owned, had to be demolished last year after dangerous cracks were discovered.
The kiln — in Castle Road near Oystermouth Primary School — once supplied Swansea's booming heavy industry, including the Cwmfelin Steel and Tinplate factory.
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The plans — being discussed by Swansea Council planners today — will see the in-filling of the kiln's lower chamber to make it structurally sound; a partial rebuilding of the stack and consolidation of the remainder; and the building of a timber fence at the top of the kiln.
It is also proposed to put a public information board near the kiln to explain its history and role.
A report to councillors recommends the plans be approved.
The document concludes: "Whilst the proposed works would alter the appearance of the listed kiln, the works would secure the future of this redundant historic structure. Therefore on balance the works are considered acceptable."
In March last year the upper two-thirds of the kiln's stack were taken down for safety reasons, and the stones kept — it is proposed to use these to rebuild the stack, to a height of around 6ft.
The lower chamber would be filled with "foamed concrete" to support the structure above it — but not before a photographic record is made.
The report notes that while it is generally not good practice to use modern "hard" materials such as concrete in traditionally built structures with "soft" materials such as lime mortar, "in this instance it appears to be the only option to support and stabilise the structure whilst minimising the need for personnel to work in close proximity to the structure."
Oystermouth Historical Association has described the kiln as a village landmark.
Group president John Powell said: "The quarry industry in Mumbles is a great part of our history and heritage."