Kentish Ragstone

Gallagher is the last remaining company still actively quarrying Kentish Ragstone. Kentish Ragstone is the only hard rock available in the South East of England. The strength and durability of Kentish Ragstone make it particularly suitable within our built environment. Moreover, to maintain the local character of Kent's architecture, Gallagher's Hermitage Quarry supplies building stone both for restoration and for new construction.

Kentish Ragstone is an important natural resource and is the most widespread building stone used throughout the South East of England. It has been used for over 2000 years as an attractive and functional building stone for many buildings in and around the Kent area, and for famous buildings in London, eg The Tower of London. Kentish Ragstone is being increasingly specified by architects as awareness of its attributes grow.

It is called ragstone as 'rag' is a term for any hard stone that is difficult to work with. Kentish Ragstone was difficult to carve with early tools because of its inherent hardness, giving it a 'raggy' surface, so it was generally used for rough walling. However, modern stone-working techniques enable the stone to be used in a variety of usages including carving, moulding, honing and polishing.

The Strategic Stone Study, sponsored by English Heritage: A Building Stone Atlas of Kent, by Joan Blows