The Cornerstone in British building materials.

Used for over 2000 years, Kentish Ragstone is a highly valuable resource for years to come.

Kentish Ragstone is Kent’s local limestone equivalent building material used for over 2000 years and Roman London was built from it. This can still be seen in the old Roman wall near Tower Hill underground station. The stone probably came from the old Tovil quarries, just west of Maidstone, and was shipped from Tovil Wharf to London. With the arrivals of the Normans in 1066 a huge building programme started where Westminster Abbey and the Tower of London were built of Ragstone as were the castles in Kent, such as Rochester and Leeds Castle and Canterbury’s Westgate.

Kentish Ragstone is the only significant geological deposit of hard rock in South East England so it was obviously in demand whenever building stone was required. Besides the famous landmarks it was also used for churches, hospitals, schools and houses. Most of Kent’s medieval parish churches are Ragstone, part of the building boom of the time. Brick buildings were favoured in Tudor times but with the return of Victorian Gothic the churches of Kent, Essex and South East England were usually built of Ragstone.

The Romans used stone to build their roads and when paved roads became common again in the 19th Century (1800 years later!) Ragstone was the main stone for Kent’s roads. It is now used extensively for road building and engineering purposes as modern quarrying techniques allow the exacting quality standards for these materials to be met.

Leeds Castle

Leeds Castle.