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3A Glossary


Llanymynech Heritage Area – Glossary Of Terms.



Brake Drum House

A building supporting a large wooden drum. Cable was wound round the drum and attached to trucks carrying stone from the quarries down the Inclined Plane.


A man or boy who operated the brake to control the speed of trucks travelling down the Inclined Plane.

Copper ore

A blue/green impurity in the limestone that could be melted to form copper.


A deep trench cut into the ground, often used to carry a railway line or tramway.

Draw Kiln

A tall or deep oven, sometimes built into the ground, used to burn limestone and change it into quicklime.



A small device that will explode when heated by an electric current. When the detonator explodes it sets off the gunpowder or dynamite.


An explosive used in the latter part of the 19th century that was less dangerous than gunpowder.

Ellesmere Canal

A man-made waterway carrying cargo boats from Llanymynech to Ellesmere and beyond. This canal, built in the early 1800s, is now known as the Montgomery Branch of the Shropshire Union Canal



A ridge of earth or rocks, supporting a railway or canal.


Limestone was used in blast furnaces as a flux, a material that removed impurities from the iron that was being extracted from the rocks.


An early form of explosive, also known as black powder, used to shatter the limestone and remove it from the quarry rock face.

Hill Fort

A wooden fortress built on the top of a hill by tribesmen living in Britain before Roman times.

Hoffmann Kiln

An oval shaped kiln designed by Friedrich Edouard Hoffmann in the 19th century for firing bricks or burning limestone to create quicklime.

Inclined Plane

A steep double rail track carrying trucks, connected by cables, from one level to another. The weight of the full truck descending pulls an empty truck back up the slope.

Interpretation Panel

Notice boards in the Heritage Area explaining the history of the remains to visitors.


An oven for heating natural materials to melt them or change their properties. It is usually heated by burning coal and needs a strong draught of air to reach a high temperature.

Lead ore

An impurity in the limestone, sometimes known as Galena, that could be melted to form lead, a heavy, malleable but poisonous metal.

Lime Drawers


Men who raked the quicklime from the base of the draw kilns.

Lime Loaders

Men who loaded the quicklime from the kilns on to trucks, an unpleasant job as the lime would irritate or burn their skin if they became sweaty.


A rock formed millions of years ago from the remains of fossilised shells at the bottom of a shallow area of sea near the equator.

Magazine Hut


A dry and secure hut with thick walls where gunpowder or dynamite could be stored safely.


Chemicals that can be removed from the rocks to be turned into metals or other useful materials.

Montgomery Canal

This canal, built in the early 1800s, is now known as the Montgomery Branch of the Shropshire Union Canal. (See Ellesmere Canal)

Offa’s Dyke

An earthwork defensive ridge, made to defend Saxon lands from Welsh invaders, built by King Offa of Mercia who ruled from 757 – 795 AD.

Piece Work

A method of payment for quarry workers. They were paid according to the weight of limestone they quarried, not by the hours they worked.



A piece of rail track that can be moved with a lever to direct trucks on to a different line.

Quarry Men

Men removed limestone from the rock face in the quarries. Some were employed drilling holes for explosive charges; others broke up large rocks with hammers and loaded trucks to go down the inclined plane.


Limestone that has been burnt at a temperature in excess of 900 Centigrade. Quicklime, often just called lime, is lighter than limestone and reacts with water, bubbling fiercely and giving off heat. This produces slaked lime. (See below)


The local name for poor quality limestone that was thrown away.


Rot Stone

The local name for good quality limestone.


Savin & Co

The Limestone Company owned by Thomas Savin that bought up both the English and Welsh Quarries at Llanymynech in 1863.



A branch line off a tramway where trucks can be diverted to be unloaded or to let others pass.

Slaked Lime


If quicklime is put in water it produces slaked lime, a type of putty. Alternatively, if you sprinkle water on to quicklime, it turns into a powder known as hydrated lime.

Stone Crusher

A machine to crush large slabs of limestone rocks into smaller pieces or even a powder which would be easier to move or to spread directly on to the fields.

Stone Packer

Men who built the limestone walls inside the Hoffmann Kiln.


Tally Hut

A small hut next to a weighbridge where the weight of limestone in each truck could be recorded. The men were paid according to the weight of the limestone they produced.


A narrow railway line carrying trucks, often pulled by horses.


Turn Tables

A piece of rail track that would rotate to enable the trucks to be turned 90 and pushed into the Hoffmann kiln.

Turnpike Road

Toll roads built in the 18th century. A fee had to be paid before people, carriages or animals could travel along the road. The fee helped to pay for these new roads to be built.


A device for weighing the weight of limestone in each truck.



A platform, made of wood, bricks or stone, alongside a canal or railway line, where boats or trucks could be loaded or unloaded.


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