Since the Roman period limestone has been extracted from Portland stone quarries. However, quarrying of the dimension stone didn’t start in earnest until early in the seventeenth century – with London being the main market.
Portland stone, from our quarries, came to pre-eminence after the Great Fire of London in 1666, when Sir Christopher Wren chose it to re-build St Paul’s Cathedral as well as many other churches.
Planning consent for modern day quarrying on Portland was granted in 1951, covering some 324 hectares of the island. Portland Stone Firms Ltd controls the majority of the remaining Portland stone quarry reserves within the planning consent in Coombefield, Perryfield and Broadcroft. This allows us to provide a comprehensive range of stone to the market, now and well into the future.
We own three Portland stone quarries on the island with the same Portland stone geology.
Broadcroft quarry lies on the eastern side of Portland, directly to the east of the town Easton and to the west of East Weares. It is one of the largest active quarries on Portland with substantial Portland stone reserves.
Broadcroft has been worked for many years initially in the form of a number of smaller individual family run quarries which have now amalgamated to form the quarry void we see today. In the past quarrying for aggregate has been undertaken below the dimension stone beds down to the Portland clay and is the only area on the Island where the full stratigraphical column can be viewed.
Expansion into the North Western area of Broadcroft is currently taking place to meet the rolling contract for Commonwealth War Graves Commission and other projects.
Perryfield is an inland Portland stone quarry situated to the north of Coombefield quarry across Weston Street. This large stone quarry is at present our main production site.
It is being worked in a westerly direction and there are substantial reserves of dimension Portland stone which will last well beyond the current planning consent, ending in 2042.
The stone quality is excellent and the bed heights will fulfil most of the customers and contractors requirements.
Coombefield Quarry is situated to the North and East of Southwell Village and to the south of Weston Street. A large Portland stone quarry which has been worked over many years with two voids currently in existence known as Coombefield north and Coombefield south.
Coombefield South has a small reserve and Coombefield North has ceased economic quarrying, a stock remains alongside a fully automated weighbridge. Coombefield South also holds a stock of dimension stone blocks.
The Coastal Quarry area is situated along the South Eastern coast of Portland. It also adjoins Southwell Quarry, also owned by Stone Firms Ltd, which is situated just to the West. The Coastal Strip extends along the east of Portland Bill Road from Southwell, all the way to the Portland Bill Observatory.
These areas are not currently being worked, however, the reserves are 140,000 m3 of stone. These reserves are yet to be exploited and will be worked in a north to south direction in small phases with restoration closely following working, in order to minimize the adverse impacts to this sensitive area.
Portland Stone Firms Ltd is a limestone supplier and manufacturer based in Portland, UK.
We supply Portland stone paving, flooring, solid steps, treads, risers, ashlar, cladding, cropped walling, carving services and fireplace surrounds.
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