Quarries of the Mendip Hills

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Western extension of Whatley Quarry.
Dulcote Quarry.

The Mendip Hills, (Mendips) in northern Somerset, are the most southerly Carboniferous Limestone uplands in Britain.

The Mendips comprise three major anticlinal structures, each with a core of older Devonian sandstone and Silurian volcanic rocks. The latter, after crushing, is use in road construction and concrete. Devonian Sandstone is visible around Black Down and Downhead. Carboniferous Limestone, dominates the hills and surround the older rock formations.[1] An outcrop of basalt is also quarried at Moon's Hill.

For centuries the stone of the Mendips, and the Cotswolds to the north, have been used to build the cities of Bristol and Bath, and many Somerset towns. As stone transportation is expensive, the Mendips, and Leicestershire, are important as the nearest sources of hard stone for London and the South East.

The Mendip quarries produce twelve million tonnes of stone a year, employ two thousand people, and have an annual turnover of £150m.[2] Five million tonnes of stone per year is transported by Mendip Rail.

Active quarries[edit]

Name Location Map owners/operators Notes
Batts Combe Quarry Cheddar ST460550 Hanson Aggregates
Callow Rock Quarry Cheddar ST442558 Bardon Aggregates
Colemans Quarry Holwell near Nunney ST726452 Bardon Aggregates
Doulting Stone Quarry Doulting ST648436 Independent business.
Dulcote Quarry (closed) Dulcote near Wells ST565445 Foster Yeoman - Bardon Aggregates
Halecombe Leigh-on-Mendip ST697474 Tarmac
Gurney Slade Quarry Gurney Slade between Binegar and Holcombe ST626497 Morris & Perry (Gurney Slade) Ltd
Moon's Hill Quarry Stoke St Michael ST665460 John Wainwright & Co Ltd Geological Site of Special Scientific Interest
Torr Works (Merehead) East Cranmore / Downhead ST695446 Foster Yeoman - Bardon Aggregates
Whatley Quarry Whatley ST731479 ARC

Disused quarries[edit]

Cliff Quarry, Compton Martin.

References[edit]