Godstone Main Series Fire and Hearth Stone Quarry

Godstone Main Series is a Hearthstone and Firestone Quarry in Surrey. There is evidence that quarrying was taking place in Godstone in the 17th century. The are a number of quarries below Godstone hill, such as Marden, the largest area of the quarry is known as ‘Main Series’.
Throughout the quarry evidence can be seen that show differing uses it had over the years and the modifications that were made to the Quarry. In around the mid 1800’s metal rails called plate rails were fitted to the floor to enable the carts to be more easily pulled out. Prior to this the carts were dragged over the floor and formed ruts in the stone. It was into these ruts that the plate rails were fitted. The carts were pulled by teams of horses, usually 3, and evidence can be seen along the haulage routes where the carts and harnesses have come into contact with the corners of the route leaving big gouge and wear marks.

In part of the ceiling of the quarry there is a fossil dating to the cretaceous period. This is quite a rare find in itself, but the only one to be found to date of any significant size in the Godstone quarries.

The quarry saw a variety of uses after stone removal ceased. Primarily the site was used for mushroom farming between 1900 – 1930 and there is a lot of evidence to back this up. There are doorways, water routes and mushroom bed still in situ along with graffiti from the mushroom growers. The second use for the site was during the Second World War when it was considered, but not actually used, as a munitions store. Many areas of the quarry have been tidied up for this purpose and a small gauge railway installed in readiness. None of this was used and the site became an ‘unofficial’ shelter for the public from the wartime bombing campaigns. No evidence of this use exists.  The quarry had stopped being worked by the 1950’s and has lain empty and silent ever since.

Headroom is low throughout (4-5ft) which requires a degree of personal fitness and stamina, the furthest reaches of the site take several hours travel underground to reach.  Courtesy of WCMS

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Modified: 16th Aug 2012