Welcome to Klim Kiln
Firing of lime into bricks
Here you can get an impression of a now bygone small industry in Han Herred, where limestone (CaCO3) from the subsoil has been fired for use in construction.
Welcome to Klim Kiln
The lime kiln in Klim is a shaft furnace and one of the few of this type, which has been preserved in Denmark. In a shaft furnace lime is poured in from the top and removed from the bottom. It was constructed according to methods, which allowed round-the-clock operation. It was fired up every hour and lime was removed four times a day. The completed material was stored in air-tight chambers or transferred directly to mortar works or for private limewashing. Running it without stopping it required 4 hard-working men. One in the lime pit and three in the kiln where one fetched roughly 10 tons of raw materials every day and helped in the grinding of this before firing. Two worked near the kiln alternating between day and night shifts. About 5 tons of lime were produced a day in a day, where the consumption of firewood was about 7 cubic meters of wood and half-ton of coal.
In the old days, when there was not much to do for farmers and fishermen, people went to Klim Bjerg mountain to cut limestone to build houses, farms and even churches. Around Vester Han Herred there are a number of very old buildings constructed from limestone from Klim Bjerg. Also well into this century limestone has been cut and limestone buildings have been built near Klim.
History and workers
The kiln was built in 1943 by lime works owner Anders Andersen from Klim and and was in use until 1977. After this it was unused for 20 years until it was restored by the nature centre, Han Herred Naturcenter, and listed for preservation. In 2010, Klim Landsbyforening, the village association in Klim, took over maintenance and operation of the kiln.
In 1951, the lime kiln was operated by Vejby Andersen, the goldsmith from Klim, who ran the kiln for about 30 years. Knud Hasager worked in the lime kiln for about 27 years. Verner Pedersen worked there for about 30 years. Ejvind Christiansen worked there for about 23 years and Ejvind Nielsen ”The Boxer” for 20 years. Lars Thorhauge and Henry ”The Cleaver” Jensen also worked in the lime kiln in the beginning. Despite the heavy work for many years, most of the workers lived to be more than 70 years old; two were respectively 80 and 85 years old.
The welfare of the workers was also considered back then. The small room with the couch was only a few metres from the kiln, so the worker on duty at night could lie there and see that the kiln was burning. Staying awake and keeping an eye on the furnace was no problem, since it is in one’s nature to turn over frequently. From the couch the night watchman could see through the door if the flames were ablaze in the ash collector near the kiln.
In 1953, 81-year old Hans Chr. Kjeldsen from Klim told that he had cut limestone near Klim Bjerg up until 28 years ago (1925). He was an experienced and skilled lime cutter and had cut thousands of stones. It was a wonderful work and you were never unemployed. But you had to hang in there, if you were to make DKK 2 per day. 100 stones cost DKK 3
When he was a 10-year old boy and helped his father, P. Kjeldsen, they could cut 100 stones per day, when they started at 5 o’clock in the morning and continued until 9 o’clock in the evening. They had a small lamp to give light. They were given DKK 1.25 for 100 pieces. They often sang while they worked. In order to stick it out, they decided that neither of them was allowed to speak before they had cut 25 stones. Then they would take a break. The father would have a chew of tobacco and the boy could chat away. Hans Chr. Kjeldsen was born in 1872 and died in 1959, 87 years old.
From Klim Lime Kiln there are designated paths, which go past the botanical conservation along Napkærvej - through the woods on Klim Bjern hill ending in the lime pit, where information boards and maps have also been put up. In the forest some of the paths have been named after the people, who have worked in the forest.