The Quarry

Quarry History

There has been a quarry, producing dimensional stone at Doulting since Roman times. Evidence of this, was the unearthing of Doulting stone cut quoins, in the remains of a building in Shepton Mallet,next to Fosse Lane. The reserve of Doulting stone, an Inferior Oolite, can only be found in a small area around the village of Doulting, but Doulting stone is renowned for its quality the world over. Back in Victorian times the company employed over 70 stone masons. A decline in the use of the stone saw the quarry reduce in size and go through various owners hands, until my family bought the surrounding land and reserve, and eventually, the quarry with A.R.C. as sitting tenant.

Managing Director Colin KeevilProprietor Colin Keevil decided to terminate the tenancy with A.R.C. and set up the Doulting Stone Quarry as a stand alone business in 1994. Heavy investment in plant and machinery allowed the quarry to offer the stone in block form, but also sawn six sides and fully finished form. Continual investment in the business, machinery and personnel has enabled the quarry to expand and, with over 200,000 tonnes of reserve, can give any future customer confidence in the continued supply of quality stone from a truly historical yet modern quarry.

Overhead Quarry Picture

The Reserve

This data sheet was compiled by the Building Research Establishment (BRE). Where possible, data collected in earlier surveys has been used to help interpret the test results. The data sheet was compiled in January 2000 using the results of tests carried out to the proposed European Standards. The work was carried out by BRE as part of a Partners in Technology Programme funded by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions and The Doulting Stone Quarry and does not represent an endorsement of the stone by BRE.

For further technical information feel free to take a look at our CE Certification & Declaration of Performance

The quarry is located at the village of Doulting on the A361 near Shepton Mallet. There are a number of old quarries nearby like Brambleditch and Chelynch and the stone has been worked since Roman times. Two separate faces are being worked at present. Available reserves are in excess of 100,000m3 with permission to extract stone for the next 40 years. The maximum blocks size at the quarry is 3000mm x 1000mm by 800mm height on bed.

Petrography

The stone is from the Inferior Oolite of middle Jurassic age; approximately 170 million ago. Unlike the stone extracted centuries ago, the currently available is rarely oolitic. The matrix is comprises of fragments of older Carboniferous (or perhaps Liassic) limestones which were eroded and later re-deposited, and, fine to coarse shell fragments. This matrix is cemented with calcium carbonate (calcite) resulting in a crystalline and coarsely granular appearance. Occasionally, complete or near complete, fossil shells or corals may be found; this however, is quite rare. These characteristics distinguish Doulting Stone from other Jurassic limestones. It is creamy-brown or grey in colour with a regular and uniform texture.

Depositional Environment

Doulting stone would have been deposited as sediments in fairly shallow coastal seas. This is evidenced by being comprised of rock and shell fragments as described above. This is a strong indicator that the environment was controlled by powerful sea or ocean current and, tidal forces. Storm surges and consequential deep scouring of the shallow coastal waters caused severe fragmentation of the matrix components. Rapid burial under a new sediment load then preserved the fragments as they are now seen. The sedimentary sequence at Doulting appears to be unique, in that this exact rock type is seen nowhere else in the Mendip Hills region.

Structural Geology

The sedimentary deposition sequence of the Jurassic limestones were strongly controlled by the Variscan mountain building episode. The remnants of this being the Mendip Hills. Whilst the mountains were being built, the basin areas in the region were subsiding. This is evidenced by the Jurassic sequences off-lapping the Carboniferous limestones. This is seen clearly in Vallis Vale. The Jurrassic limestones lie unconformably upon the wave cut platform which is represented by the Carboniferous limestones. This can be seen at its best at the De La Beche unconformity in Vallis Vale.

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