Derbyshire Stone (Namurian Sandstones)

January 1, 201312:00 pmMay 26, 2016 9:11 am
Worcester Road Bridge built of Darley Dale grit (© Copyright Kevin Skidmore CC-by-SA 2.0)

Worcester Road Bridge built of Darley Dale grit (© Copyright Kevin Skidmore CC-by-SA 2.0)

Very coarse buff, pale orange or pink sandstones from the Namurian age Millstone Grit Formation of Derbyshire. They are often arkosic (have a high proportion of sand grains composed of the mineral feldspar rather than quartz) and are most recognisable by their extremely coarse grained sand and large bed/block heights.

The moors between the Derwent and the Derbyshire Coalfield have been important since at least the 13th Century as a source of abrasive stones. The toughness of the Millstone Grit also makes it ideal as a building stone used countrywide. The Ashover Grits are the most important unit, especially in terms of wider exports and account for extensive quarrying between Belper and Little Eaton. At Stancliffe (an isolated outcrop at Darley Dale), Whatstandwell (Dukes Quarry) and Stanton Moor the stone is particularly massively bedded and developed a national reputation for durability and attractiveness. Many quarries remain operational as of 2016.

Very coarse pinkish, cross-bedded grit from Darley Dale, most likely Birchover Quarry, was used for the 1930s reconstruction of Worcester Bridge.

Browse the database for sites using Millstone Grit ->

Written by Elliot Carter

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