Heritage talk looks back at chalk and lime industry

THE chalk and lime industry of the Arun valley will be explored at the next Southwick Society Heritage Talk.

Richard Howell will give the talk, Lime-burners, Lords and Labourers, on Monday, at Southwick Community Centre at 7.30pm.

He will speak about chalk and lime quarrying, which were once vital to agriculture and the building industry.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

The Adur, Arun and Ouse valleys all have evidence of the now largely closed industry of chalk quarrying.

The main areas in the Ouse valley were at Burpham, Houghton and Amberley but many of these workings have been covered by vegetation.

Chalk was dug for many uses, including building blocks, and some of these can be seen in Manor Cottage, in Southwick Street, Southwick.

Other uses were agricultural soil dressing, medicinal purposes, lime mortar and cement.

Many West Sussex buildings, including Amberley Castle and Arundel Priory, had chalk walls covered in flints.

Lime kilns were put up at the chalk pits, but much of the chalk was transported, initially by barge, around the country. Amberley Museum and Heritage Centre has the remains of the workings.

Entrance to the talk costs £4, or £2 for Southwick Society members.