LOUGHANURE ~ Population approx. 400 Lough Anure ~ Meaning "Lake of the Yew"
Loghanure is a small village in The Rosses area of Donegal. It sits on the banks of the lake from which the village gets it's name: Lough Anure, meaning lake of the Yew. The lake has four small islands on one of which the Yew tree grows wild.
The village is famous for it's history in the lime making industry, an industry in which most of the villagers were involved right up until the start of WW2.
THE LIME INDUSTRY IN LOUGHANURE
Lime kiln at Loughanure
"Lime was first discovered in Loughanure around 1850 on a small hill situated in the centre of the village. It was the women of the village who discovered the lime while burning fires and they notified the men of this occurence. The men of the village discovered that they had to break the rock down to what is now known as inch stone. As limestone is a very soft rock, gelignite would have been too powerful to use so they devised what was known as "black powder" made up of sulphur, salt peter and charcole and used a detonator and a fuse to ignite it. Large kilns were built around the village to manufacture lime. These kilns were 12 feet at the base, 8 feet in diameter at the top, 12 feet in height from the base upwards and were cone shaped, which was more effective for draught purposes.
The kiln was started with a filling of turf 18 inches in height, followed by a filling of limestone 18 inches in height and so on until the kiln was filled to the top. The setting alight and burning of a kiln was a very skillful exercise as the men had to try and judge the wind in advance for the ten hours that it would be burning. If the wind got stronger they had to close off the mouth of the kiln to cut down on the draught. When the kilns were burned the raw lime was taken out from the eye of the kiln and brought by wheelbarrow to the shed which was situated close to the kiln. The lime was then "slackened" which was simply to wet it and leave it to cool. A day or two later the lime was put into hessian bags with a kiln usually yeilding 25 - 30 bags. The bags of lime were then loaded on to a donkey and cartand sold door to door covering a radius of 20 miles from Loughanure. Lime was used for fertilising land, painting, as putty lime in building works and to protect growing crops from frost. Every family in the village were either directly or indirectly involved in the industry.
This industry carried on until the late 1930s when the government offered to grant aid the people of Loughanure in order to manufacture lime on a much bigger scale. However WW2 was brewing and restrictions on anything to do with explosives were getting very tight. The offer of grant aid didn't materialise and in 1950 the government switched the grant aid to cutting and drying turf with the manufacturing of lime dying away."
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