Wildlife Trust project uncovers evidence of early Black Country industry on Sedgley Beacon

Friday 15th May 2015

Sedgley BeaconNew discovery on Sedgley Beacon

The Wildlife Trust for Birmingham and the Black Country have found exciting new evidence of Sedgley Beacon’s early industrial history.

Whilst working on the local landmark to restore rare wildflower-rich grassland they were on the lookout for archaeological finds and came across evidence of a type of lime kiln known as a ‘lime pie’.

Simon Atkinson, Conservation Projects Manager at The Wildlife Trust, was on site at the time and says: “We already knew what a fantastic site Sedgley Beacon is in terms of its wildlife, history and value to the local community, but discoveries like this are revealing even more about Sedgley Beacon and its importance to the Black Country.

“Our Nature Improvement Area project is reinstating historic wildlife features such as hedgerows and wildflower meadows, but we also hope to reveal more about Sedgley Beacon’s human history so that even more people will visit the site and come to appreciate its local importance.”

Jayne Pilkington, Senior Conservation Officer at Dudley Council added: “In one of the areas where the topsoil was carefully scraped away, a large patch of burnt limestone was revealed. In view of the known long history of the Beacon Hill being used as quarry for limestone it is possible that this could be the remains of a ‘lime pie’, which is one of the earliest ways in which to process limestone for quick lime.”

Whilst this isn’t the first such discovery in the area - with others visible at Wren’s Nest - it is nevertheless an important contribution to the story of how the Black Country developed in the earliest stages of industry.

Working in partnership with South Staffs Water, The Friends of Sedgley Beacon and Dudley Council, The Wildlife Trust are continuing their work on Sedgley Beacon and would love to hear from anyone that would like to get involved.


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