SCRCA structure 250280: Crag of Blea Moor Gritstone Quarry

SCRCA Location Introduction

The evidence currently available suggests that this quarry was opened specifically to provide gritstone for use on the project to construct the adjacent sections of the Settle-Carlisle Railway. To date, no evidence has been found to suggest that gritstone extraction continued after the conclusion of the railway construction works.

There is clear evidence to suggest that most, perhaps all, of the gritstone extracted from this quarry was crushed to create aggregate. This would have been mixed with crushed shale, burnt lime and water to create the concrete and mortar needed to construct many of the railway's key structures. (There is no source of building sand or gravel in the Ribblehead - Blea Moor area and transporting such a bulky material from further afield would have been prohibitively expensive.)

There are some larger beds of gristone in both of the exposed faces and it is possible that some of these could have been worked to extract stone in block form. The resulting blocks may have been dressed and used for the string courses and coping stones on bridges (including Ribblehead Viaduct) and / or for the walls of the station building, waiting room and Station Master's House at Ribblehead Station. However, these were all constructed after Ribblehead had been connected to the Midland Railway Company's network further south, so gritstone for these purposes could have been brought-in from further afield.

Crag of Blea Moor Gritstone Quarry Context view from the south-southeast

Key details from the Location Record

Location Type
Archaeological Site
Location Variant
Archaeologal Site - Quarry or Pit
Assessment status
Assessed
Current Use(s)
Disused
Shown on a land plan?
No 
Construction / installation period
MR-C: Constructed by the Midland Railway Co. between 1869 and 31st December 1876.
Distance from London St.Pancras
250 miles and 24 chains
Position relative to running lines
Remote
Visibility
This location IS visible from nearby publicly accessible land.
Accessibility (ease of access)
Difficult
Protection Category
The structure or site is not currently protected
Geographic Location
  View this location on aerial imagery.

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Errors and omissions
Reasonable efforts are being made to ensure the accuracy of the information obtained and uploaded as part of the SCRCA Project. However, it is possible that a few errors will have crept-in. If you notice any such errors, we would be grateful if you would bring them to our attention using the SCRCA Project Contact Form. The Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line and the members of the SCRCA Project Team do NOT guarantee the accuracy of the information contained in this database. If you intend to use and / or act upon any of this information, you are advised to verify its accuracy BEFORE doing so.