Lime Burning on Lismore

Lime Burning on Lismore - Working Party 2019

Join us to repair a historic Lime Kiln and take part in lime burning adventures on this historic limestone island on the west coast of Scotland.

23/05/2019 - 26/05/2019
Introductory, General Interest, CPD
United Kingdom

Camping all inclusive - £45

Bunk barn all inclusive - £55

Day visit (lunch only) - £20

Camping & lunch only - £35

Event details

Lime Burning on Lismore - 23-26 May 2019

Places are limited, and by application only.  Full details are below, if you have any additional questions please email for more information.  A small contribution (£20 - £45) is requested per day of attendance to cover food, insurance and accommodation. 

Applications will close on Tuesday 23rd April, 6pm.  Confirmation of places will be by the end of April 2019.

Each year the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) runs several working parties to gather volunteers, community members, historic building professionals and conservation specialists for a short period of work and learning, whilst putting our expertise and advice into practice on a historic building in need. We are delighted to announce that this year SPAB Scotland will be joining forces with Historic Environment Scotland and the Building Limes Forum to run the Scottish Working Party 2019 on the beautiful island of Lismore.

The annual event has become a popular event attracting volunteers ranging from heritage and architectural professionals, to those with an informed amateur interest in buildings and history. For this short period they are united in their efforts to help a specific building. Volunteering at the Building Conservation Working Party is a unique opportunity to learn from some of the country's leading craftspeople in a relaxed setting. Experts will be on hand at all times to guide volunteers through the work. On Lismore we will be….

  • Building a lime kiln - and burning limestone

  • Slaking and testing the lime

  • Mixing mortar and using it to repair the kiln

  • Historic Building maintenance day & evening lecture

  • Investigating archaeology and recording of historic sites


If you would like to get involved in any way, be that joining in the activities, stopping by for a chat as you walk the dog, coming to our evening lecture or helping with the practicalities of island life, please save the date and get in touch.  We would love to hear from you!


Notes for Applicants:


Successful applicants will be asked to make a contribution, for each day attended, towards the cost of catering (breakfast, lunch and tea breaks, basic evening meal), insurance and materials.  We will be in touch to discuss payment once the offer of a place has been made. Cost shown are per day, per person.

*Please note* - all payments must be received prior to our confirmation of your place on the Working Party.  

Camping all inclusive - £45

Bunk barn all inclusive - £55

Day visit (lunch only) - £20

Camping & lunch only - £35

Please note, alcoholic drinks are not included.  Breakfast will be cereals & toast. Lunch will be soup & sandwiches. Evening meals will be of a communal nature (dietary options given). Site insurance is included in all tickets.

Island Facilities:  There is a small shop / post office on the island, well stocked with local meats, vegetables, tinned & grocery goods, beer, wine, etc. There are various large supermarkets in Oban, though this is a 60 minute ferry ride away. There is a doctor in Port Appin (mainland) if needed. 

Alternative Accommodation:  We have arranged for a bunk barn (limited space) and camping area.  There are many other options on the island - other B&Bs or AirBNB.  There are also hotels in Port Appin which can be accessed via the ferry if preferred. 

Refunds: Please note, refunds will not be made in the event of cancellations less than two weeks before the event.


Safety Equipment

Basic safety equipment (eye protection, face masks, gloves, hi-vis) will be supplied on site but each volunteer must dress appropriately, supplying their own overalls and safety boots with steel toe cap and cleated sole (type S3 in accordance with EN ISO 20345:2004).

Other equipment:

If you are accepted onto the Working Party, we will send you a separate list of useful equipment to bring with you.


Activities Planned

The following is a guide to planned activities and events, these are subject to change, but aree provided to give a flavour of what works we have planned.

Wednesday 22nd - Evening arrival.  Volunteers are welcome to arrive anytime on the island and come to the bunk barn / camping area from late afternoon onwards.

Thursday 23rd - Lime burning, kiln building, wall repairs to B listed limekiln.  Evening barbeque.

Friday 24th - Visit to Lismore Church and maintenance day. Lime pointing continues. Evening food at local pub (on mainland at Port Appin).  Late night ferry will be arranged.

Saturday 25th - Lime burning trials, wall repairs, public open afternoon on site.  Evening lecture by the local history society & food at the history centre.

Sunday 26th - Continued work on site to complete repointing & wall building. Local walks to visit other lime kilns.

Monday 27th - Final tidy up & departure.


Travel to Lismore

The island is accessed via two ferries:

Oban - Achnacreish (Lismore) - 60 minutes - car & passenger ferry operated by CalMac Ferries.  Details and prices available on their website

Port Appin - Port Ramsay (Lismore) - 10-15 minutes - foot passengers only.  Car park available behind the Pierhouse pub (free).  Details and prices available on the website. Summer timetable will differ.  Cash / cheque only.

Cars: We would encourage visitors to leave cars on the mainland, and to use the Port Appin foot ferry.  The site is a short walk (15 mins) over the hill to the west side of the island from the ferry terminal.  Lifts can be arranged from the ferry terminal or from the site to the camping site & bunk barns.

Public Transport: There is no public transport on the island.  Trains run nationally to Oban, from where you can get the ferry to Lismore.  There is a bus service from Oban to Port Appin run by West Coast Motors, service 5/405.

Cycling: Lismore is the perfect island for cycling - please feel free to bring your bike with you for ease of transport!  All roads are single track, so please be considerate and let others pass.  Bikes can be taken on both ferries.

Pets: Bringing dogs onto the island is discouraged - it is something of a bird and wildlife haven, please respect this where possible. 


If you have any further questions please contact SPAB Scotland Officer Lucy Stewart via


About SPAB Scotland

Members of the SPAB living and working in Scotland decided to form their own semi-autonomous group in 1995. Scotland has its own building traditions, architectural language and property laws, all of which are best dealt with locally. All members of the SPAB residing in Scotland are automatically members of SPAB Scotland.

Booking Terms & Conditions

Accessibility: please contact the Group Organiser before booking to discuss any special access requirements.