Our Story

Forest of Dean Stone Firms documented history dates back to the turn of the 20th Century, navigating twists and turns through the last 100 years, and is now part of Lovell Stone Group Ltd, a private, family-owned business.

Turn of the 20th Century

Barnhill Quarry

The history of Barnhill Quarry is vague, with very little documentation as to who leased and worked the site but in the early part of the twentieth century it's understood to have been leased by Messers. E. Turner & Sons of Cardiff. This company has since become part of Willmott Dixon.

Bixslade Stone Works

E. Turner & Sons of Cardiff established Bixslade Stone Works for sawing and dressing stone in 1902. It was one of the properties later purchased by the United Stone Firms Ltd as one of the Forest of Dean Stone Firms Ltd businesses.

United Stone Firms

In 1910 United Stone Firms was founded in Bristol and,circa 1912, saw the first publication of the prestigious United Stone Firms Ltd book, an early 20th century celebration of British natural stone. This treasured book is a snap-shot into Edwardian Britain and explores 13 natural stone materials, including our very own Forest of Dean Pennant sandstone alongside Portland, Bath, Bristol Pennant and Red Wilderness stone to name but a few. It details their production, associated works and suitability, complemented by truly awe-inspiring photography.

The history of United Stone Firms was a little more turbulent, it failed in 1917 and led to Forest of Dean Stone being re-registered at Companies House in 1922 and, in 1926, Walter Bryant founded United Stone Firms Ltd, only to fold again in 1932. Forest of Deans assets were purchased by the Scott Russell family and in 1942 was the last surviving United Stone Firms company.

21st Century - a new era

The start of the 21st Century saw a new dawn for Forest of Dean Stone Firms; with new owners and investment in the quarry and processing works. In 2007, Peter Hart, along with Simon and James Hart, joined the Board of Directors and that year saw the launch of Royal Forest Pennant; a dedicated commercial hard-landscaping brand. 

In the latter part of 2020, Simon and James Hart took sole ownership of Forest of Dean Stone Firms Ltd and it became a sister-company to the family-owned Lovell Stone Group Ltd. Today, we are continuing to invest significantly in the business, with new equipment and a primary sawing facilities at Barnhill Quarry, which will increase the production efficiency and capability of our Bixslade processing works.