The production of coal was of huge economic significance to the area. Extraction
was already well established by the 1600s and became the life-blood of the town in
the early 20th century. There were three periods of production along the Burn all
of which have left traces.and all of which have fascinating stories.
From 1842 onwards the extraction and burning of lime was on a commercial footing
run by the South Tyne Coal and Lime company. Two kilns from this period can be seen
on the east bank although only the back walls of the pots remain. The external structure
has been dismantled. Find out more about early lime kilns and how they worked here
Another valuable commodity extracted from the rocks of the burn was lime.
Originally limestone was burnt in the kilns on the west bank for spreading on the
acidic fields of the surrounding farms. This kiln has a single pot and three entrances
to rake out the burnt lime.
Haltwhistle Presbyterian Church under construction by Watson’s Stone Masons
Sandstone from the Burn Gorge has been quarried for building material for hundreds
of years and the remains of quarries from different dates can be found up and down
the burn on both banks. The Lees Hall Quarry on the west bank is the largest of these.
Drill marks from the blasting can be seen in the rock face and huge blocks of stone
can be found lying where they were left on the last day of production. Many of the
fine stone buildings of Haltwhistle are built of this stone, most notably the immense
stone step of the Church Hall which was probably the largest block to be removed
from the quarry in one piece!