Have you ever walked up the steps of the Natural History Museum or National Gallery in London? Or strolled along the platform at Paddington station? You wouldn’t realise it, but you were stepping on a bit of Nidderdale quarrying heritage!
The Monastic estates first developed a quarrying industry using local stone to build their abbeys and granges and quarrying was one of the chief industries in Nidderdale until the First World War. The high quality and importance of the stone, which the quarries produced was demonstrated by the long distances it was exported - for example giant grindstones for mashing cut timber were exported from Nidderdale quarries to Canada and Scandinavia.
Blocks of flagstone 16 feet square yet only 6 inches deep would be cut from the quarries and were used for docks and railway platforms all over Britain.
Coldstones Quarry is still open as a limestone quarry and is now home to the modern art sculpture, the Coldstones Cut.