View Royal councillor John Rogers spearheaded the town’s effort to put money towards preserving a historic lime kiln that speaks to the industrial roots of the area.

View Royal councillor John Rogers spearheaded the town’s effort to put money towards preserving a historic lime kiln that speaks to the industrial roots of the area.

View Royal earmarks cash to preserve historic lime kiln

Standing just under seven metres tall, with a base four metres wide, View Royal’s historic lime kiln is a massive structure.

Standing just under seven metres tall, with a base four metres wide, View Royal’s historic lime kiln is a massive structure.

It’s been marked for preservation by town council, who have ponied up $25,000 to start the process.

Silica Brick and Lime Company Ltd., owned by Thomas Atkins, built the kiln circa 1908 and used it up until sometime in the 1940s. Since then it has sat undisturbed on a parcel of land on Hart Road, while development has gone on all around it.

The problem is, in its current state, it’s falling apart and hard to see from the road. There’s also no access to the public. The bricks are getting a little crumbly and the sheet metal that surrounds the chimney has corroded to the point it has mostly fallen off the structure. It is surrounded by trees and bush. One tree has even grown up through the kiln and out the chimney.

Now, with the help of a heritage consultant and View Royal’s financial commitment, the kiln will receive much needed tending and be opened up for the public to visit and learn from.

“It’s amazing it survived like this at all, if you left it much longer it wouldn’t,” said Donald Luxton, of Donald Luxton and Associates Inc.  “So (they need to) go in, stop the growth of the trees, remove biological matter, start the conservation process. And then if it takes five, 10, 15 years – whatever it takes, work towards the goal.”

The kiln was used to process limestone, common in the area, into a powered lime, a primary component in mortar at the time.

The kiln would heat the limestone, in a process called calcination, until it became reduced to quicklime (calcium oxide).

Water is then added which turns the lime into a powder, ready to be used in mortar, plaster and other products.

There were numerous lime kilns scattered throughout Greater Victoria, before industrialized methods of lime production and the advent of Portland cement (an improved product that continues to be used today) made small scale operations financially unsustainable.

Now they are hard to find, especially one’s that are still standing.

“Absolutely rare. There’s very, very few of them around,” said Luxton, who hopes the story of the kiln and the general industrial history of the area can be told to visitors of the site.

Interpretation will be a key element of the refurbish, either through signs, or even more technologically advanced methods such as cellphone apps or QR codes.

“It’s one thing to have the artifact, which is great,” Luxton said, “but the whole point of this is it’s there to tell us something, and that’s why we would go to the trouble of conserving it.”

Counc. John Rogers spearheaded the conservation process and said he applauds the rest of council for understanding the significance of the site.

“It’s our background, what we celebrate and why View Royal exists,” said Rogers. “It’s such a rare structure, being intact like this, it gives us an opportunity, and the region an opportunity to remember its history.”

news@goldstreamgazette.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

To each their own pipe. The new sewer main during staging in James Bay before it was installed in 2018, to convey waste to the McLoughlin Point treatment facility. (Black Press Media file photo)
‘End in sight,’ for Victoria’s annual sewage overflows

Wastewater projects underway should end sewage overflows

Community members Ed Hutchinson, left, Dave Noren, and Pat Graham, president of The Ladies Guild, stand before the new book house outside the Church of the Advent in Colwood. The tiny library was built as a result of the annual Church of the Advent book sale being cancelled due to COVID-19. (Submitted/Joan Hoffman)
Colwood church builds little library

Church of Advent annual book sale cancelled due to health restrictions

(Courtesy Very Good Butchers)
Very Good Butchers brand adds cheese to its platter

The Cultured Nut products to be rebranded under Very Good Cheese banner

Ron Sivorot, business director at Kennametal’s Langford site, the Greater Victoria facility that made a component being used on NASA’s Perseverance rover on Mars. (Jake Romphf, Black Press Media)
NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover using piece made at Kennametal’s Langford site

The Greater Victoria plant’s tooth blank is helping the rover’s drill collect rock cores

A provincially appointed consultant has recommended a change to the funding formula for the VicPD that will save Esquimalt a significant amount of money. (Black Press Media file photo)
Esquimalt to save a bundle on policing costs under new formula

Provincial consultant studied funding model, resource deployment for VicPD

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

Kevin Haughton is the founder/technologist of Courtenay-based Clearflo Solutions. Scott Stanfield photo
Islander aims Clearflo clean drinking water system at Canada’s remote communities

Entrepreneur $300,000 mobile system can produce 50,000 litres of water in a day, via solar energy

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Surrey Pretrial in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. transgender inmate to get human rights hearing after being held in mostly male jail

B.C. Human Rights Tribunal member Amber Prince on March 3 dismissed the pretrial’s application to have Makayla Sandve’s complaint dismissed

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

The Netflix logo on an iPhone. B.C. delayed imposing sales tax on digital services and sweetened carbonated beverages as part of its response to COVID-19. Those taxes take effect April 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Matt Rourke
B.C. applies 7% sales tax on streaming, vaping, sweet drinks April 1

Measures from 2020 budget were delayed due to COVID-19

A lawyer wears a face mask and gloves to curb the spread of COVID-19 while waiting to enter B.C. Supreme Court, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, Aug. 28, 2020. British Columbia’s highest court has sided with the land owner in a dispute over public access to public land. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. high court finds in favour of large landowner in fight over access to pair of lakes

The Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club launched legal action after the cattle company blocked road and trail access

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a press conference in Ottawa Friday, March 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau holds firm on premiers’ health-care funding demands, COVID-19 aid comes first

Premiers argue that the current amount doesn’t keep pace with yearly cost increases of about five per cent

Most Read