Quarries of the Mendip Hills

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Western extension of Whatley Quarry.
Dulcote Quarry.

The Mendip Hills are the most southerly Carboniferous Limestone Upland in Britain and are found in northern Somerset.

They are composed of three major anticlinal structures, each with a core of older Devonian sandstone and Silurian volcanic rocks. The latter are quarried for use in road construction and as a concrete aggregate.

In recent centuries the hills, like the Cotswolds to the north, have been quarried for stone to build the cities of Bath and Bristol, as well as smaller towns in Somerset. The quarries are major suppliers of road stone to southern England, between them producing around twelve million tonnes a year, employing over two thousand people with an annual turnover of £150m.[1]

There are two main rock types on the Mendips: the Devonian Sandstones visible around Black Down and Downhead and the Carboniferous Limestones, which dominate the hills and surround the older rock formations.[2] An outcrop of basalt is also quarried at Moon's Hill.

A large proportion of the stone (about 5 million tonnes per year) is moved by rail company Mendip Rail. As transportation constitutes a significant proportion of the cost of supplying stone, the Mendips, along with Leicestershire, are important as the nearest sources of hard stone for London and the South East.

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.