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The Comeback of the Square kiln

To talk of a comeback of the square kiln is really only relevant in Kent/Sussex where the roundal had taken over by storm in the mid 19th C. In Hampshire, Hereford and Worcester the square kiln remained predominant through the century. But from about the 1860s there was a reversal of the fortunes of the roundal. The revised view was that square kilns did not have cold corners. A square drying floor made it possible to install a roller so that the hair netting covered with dried hops could be drawn off to the cooling room without farm workers having  to tramp amongst the delicate flowers and squash them. The use of motorised fans also combined well with square kilns. In practise square and round kilns appear to have been added to oasts fairly indiscriminately and it is not clear what factors determined individual choice.

Late 19th Century square kilns at Noakes Farm 2016

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Twitham Ct drawing

Large late 19thC square kilns were especially prevalent in North and East Kent and West Midlands.


2016-07-05 15.03.29

The former Noakes Farm, converted to multiple dwellings, looking across the valley of the River Medway to the west of Maidstone, Kent. 2016 photo









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Hadlow 4 Aug 16

Hadlow, near Tonbridge, Kent. On the left is part of the huge 4 story complex of kilns, maltings and brewery that has been converted into 50 apartments. On the right a typical 19th C 2 roundel oast.

Categories: 19th Century