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Stone Quarrying in Purbeck - Present Day

Nowadays quarrying is open cast.

Heavy machines pull out the stone in the spring and pile it up to dry throughout the summer. In this way it can resist cracking when the temperature falls below freezing in the winter.

The blocks are sliced up and polished using industrial diamonds and computer driven machinery, but even today most quarries remain small scale family run businesses.

modern quarry setting: table top in progress - photo by Richard Jeffery

Purbeck is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and part of the Jurassic coast. The beauty of its famous coast line is in part due to the rocky coves carved out of the cliff by the early quarry masters.

In so doing they unintentionally created problems for their successors for it is now difficult to obtain planning permission for new quarries and the considerable tonnage of stone that remains cannot be dug and is therefore often in short supply.

 
Tony Viney : Sandy Hill Workshops : Sandy Hill Lane : Corfe Castle : Dorset : BH20 5JF : (+44) 01929 480977 : tony@tonyviney.co.uk