Finding The Best Of British Limestone
Posted on 24th February 2021 at 15:43
If you are looking for a natural stone wall, limestone can offer a compelling, attractive and authentically British option.
Indeed, it is a stone that is quarried from sites all across the UK, unlike many other materials. For instance, while Granite is mainly to be found in northern and western parts of Britain from Scotland to Cornwall, Slate is only mined and quarried in north Wales and Cumbria.
Limestone is a very different matter. Anyone living in Hertfordshire will not have to go far to find a site where it is extracted, with Low End Quarry situated just over the border in Bedfordshire to the west of Dunstable.
Berkshire also has a quarry, at Sonning-Lime near Reading, while there are several more both just east of Oxford and between Sevenoaks and Maidstone in Kent.
All that may come as a surprise for those who associate limestone with the hills and caves of the Mendips or the Pennines.
The south coast produces plenty of limestone, from the Isle of Wight to Portland Bill, while the West Country extracts the substance over a wide area including not just Somerset, but also the Cotswolds and Devon. Curiously, however, one place missing off this map is Cornwall.
Limestone is also found in the south and far north of Wales and right across the English Midlands, including flat areas like Lincolnshire, but not beyond the fens in Norfolk or Suffolk, another rare lime-free zone.
Undoubtedly, however, the Pennines is the heartland of the industry, with particularly large concentrations of quarries in Derbyshire and the North Pennines.
Perhaps surprisingly, there are also several in Cumbria, despite limestone being a porous rock that is not conducive to lakes forming. However, these are notably arrayed in a large circle around the boundaries of the Lake District.
Similarly, Scotland with its mountains and lochs is also dominated by other rock types, with a handful of limestone quarries all lying south of the Highland fault line.
Existing in yellow, white or grey hues, limestone is a versatile substance used in everything from toothpaste to cattle feed. But it is a great building material that will give any home a rustic look that really is the best of British.
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