CALCH - the lime industry at Herbert's Quarry
CALCH is an exciting new collaboration between Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, Dyfed Archaeological Trust, the National Museum of Wales and the Black Mountain Centre in Brynaman.
‘Calch’ is the Welsh word for ‘lime’, and Herbert’s Quarry is situated within the Brecon Beacons National Park adjacent to a car park in a spectacular location on the A4069 mountain road between Llangadog and Brynaman.
At Herbert’s Quarry local communities and visitors can discover a truly significant part of Wales’ industrial, agricultural and geological history. You are surrounded by the remains of a long history of industrial heritage, with roads built to transport mineral products, in a beautiful landscape shaped by the toil of generations of quarrymen. The remains are important because they show the development of quarrying, and innovations in limestone processing and transport through time, spanning the transition from the pre-industrial exploitation to full industrialisation for use in other industries and agriculture.
Over the centuries, most of the site has returned to nature and has become a habitat for some unusual wildlife. The site is part of the Mynydd Du SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) and the Black Mountain Registered Landscape of Outstanding Historic Interest. It also lies within the Fforest Fawr Geopark. Important though these designations are, they cover large and diverse areas and the special qualities of Herbert’s Quarry itself have been less recognised. The quarries will soon be recognised as a RIGS (Regionally Important Geodiversity Site), but the archaeological and industrial heritage at the site has received much less attention.
Some of the limekilns which give the site much of its character and interest are now suffering significant damage. These kilns are crucial in understanding the industrial heritage of the area. Now is therefore a critical time to undertake a programme of conservation works to ensure their long-term future.
By raising awareness, understanding and appreciation of the site, it can become an important asset to local communities. With improved access, safety and on-site information the heritage, educational, and tourism potential of the site can be developed. By the end of the project Herbert’s Quarry will be a fascinating place to visit and to learn about the industrial heritage, wildlife, social history and geology of the area. Linking Herbert’s Quarry with existing heritage tourism and community initiatives, will benefit local communities and businesses.
Volunteer involvement will be crucial to the success of the project. Over the next two years there will be many different events and activities to accompany the repair works, with plenty of opportunities for people to get involved in all sorts of ways. CALCH will also encourage communities to develop and achieve their own ideas of how to celebrate their lime heritage.
As the project develops there will be events for schools and visitors, with walks talks and opportunities to get involved in archaeology and hands on repair of the limekilns.
If you would like to find out more about CALCH please contact the Dyfed Archaeological Trust or keep an eye on our web site for updates on the project and news of events: