Legends from our own lunchtimes

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

If you go into an ancient lime kiln, look up….
Monday 13th August - Antoing to Bossuit

We may have been at serious risk of factoid overload had we remained in Antoing another day, but we escaped into what very well may have been a dull grey, damp, windswept day without all our new knowledge to brighten the way. 

Did you know for instance the area surrounding here had once been known as “The White Lands”?Such was the volume of lime production that the dust from it apparently settled on everything changing its complexion.   This colour is curiously opposite that of the local stone from which it was produced.  Known as Black Tournai “marble”, a fine-grained Lower Carboniferous (Tournaisian) limestone, it was burnt to produce the lime, but it also found uses in paving and construction throughout the region, and in carved fonts throughout Christendom. 

The old lime kilns that still dot the landscape look very much like ruined castles with their Gothic arches and overgrown shrubbery. At least one of them dates back to Roman times apparently.   Some are being converted into wondrous houses, one has a simple modern house built discretely on top, and one we were able to clamber within to try to nut out how it worked for ourselves.  It’s difficult to see an application for all this new knowledge, but the view looking up was quite nice.


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