Barnhill Quarry

Our principal source of the material is Barnhill Forest of Dean Quarry. A 10 hectare site within the Barnhill plantation in Broadwell, Forest of Dean. As the crow flies the quarry is just one mile from our works at Parkend, sitting atop the Cannop Valley.

Our Stone

Our stone was formed as part of the Carboniferous period and our Quarry lies within the Cannop Fault Belt. During the Upper Carboniferous time the area that is now the Forest of Dean was a near-shore intertidal environment of semi-marine estuaries and swamps in which the Coal Measures were deposited. 

Forest of Dean sandstone is a fine to medium grain and Grey/Green through to Brown in colour. Our 10 hectare site has three beds (40, 80 and 160 depth) and over two million tonnes of reserves.

The Quarry is worked on two levels. From the upper beds we extract a mixed colour Pennant sandstone which is naturally Blue with oxide colouration producing Grey/Green and Brown tones whilst the lower beds are predominantly blue. 

Extraction Process

Starting at the Free End where the quarry is ‘open’, our team strip along the face. They remove what is termed overburden in order to reach the beds of Pennant sandstone. Once they have identified the bed they start the extraction process, cutting the block out.

We use the Stitch Drilling & Splitting method to extract our stone rather than the more familiar blasting process often associated with quarrying. We do this for a number of reasons; it gives us a cleaner break, it is more environmentally friendly and it’s safer. Thanks to improvements in technology and investment we now extract two blocks every five minutes.

Our Block

Our bed heights are generally between 600cm – 1m high but they have been known to go as high as 1.2m. These blocks are split into random sizes weighing up to 10 tonnes. This is our maximum lifting capacity at the stoneworks.

The colour of the block is random as our beds are not uniform. Some are one solid colour, others are mixed, from blue to grey/green with brown markings. The outer and inner core can often be different colours.