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A typically Kentish countryside scene the oast house was used for drying hops which for hundreds of years were a major industry in the county.

The familiar site of the round, or in some cases square, kiln towers surmounted by their tapered drying floors and topped by the white cowls still grace the views of rural Kent to this day.

The white cowl is mounted on greased rollers on a steel track. As the wind changes direction they rotate into the wind so as to allow the heat from the kiln to be expelled into air passing it up through the hops on the drying floor on the way.

This single kiln example was one of the first round kiln designs, built in 1815 and is at the Wye Rural Museum at Brook near Ashford in Kent, UK.

Tags

rural, museum, wye, brook, kiln, ashford, hops, oast, 1815, cowl

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