Gallagher is the last remaining company still quarrying Kentish Ragstone, the most widespread building stone used throughout the South East of England. To maintain the local character of Kent's architecture, Gallagher's Hermitage Quarry supplies building stone both for restoration and new build projects.
Kentish Ragstone is a distinctive hard sandy limestone from the Hythe Formation of the Weald. It has been used as an attractive and functional building stone across Greater London and the South East of England throughout the centuries, particularly in mediaeval times when it was used in prominent historic buildings such as the Tower of London, the mediaeval Guildhall and Royal Fusiliers buildings, all in London. In Kent, Leeds Castle, the Archbishop's Palace in Maidstone, Westgate in Canterbury, the keep at Dover Castle, Knole House, Ightham Mote and Maidstone Prison were all built of Kentish Ragstone. It is the most utilised hard rock within Kent and is commonly seen throughout the county, particularly in houses, walls and churches.
Today, the only fully operational and mechanised quarry producing dimensional Kentish Ragstone is Hermitage Quarry, near Maidstone. We have highly skilled stonemasons and the modern, bespoke masonry equipment, ensuring that our clients’ specific requirements are met, whether for a heritage project, new build development or bespoke assignment. With its experienced team along with modern machinery and facilities, Gallagher is able to supply stone for repairs to historical buildings, thus ensuring that the repairs blend in with traditional Kentish Ragstone. It also supplies stone for new build projects, upholding and maintaining the unique local character of southern England’s historic architecture.
Hermitage Quarry became operational in 1990 and since then has continually developed its processing techniques for Kentish Ragstone. Over recent years, bespoke techniques have been developed with specific blast design principles employed to maximise the yield of building stone and minimise the effects of ‘blast-induced’ fracturing within the stone. Stone is then carefully selected for its intended use and is then sawn by one of our primary saws or our secondary saw, cropped, put in our tumbler to create an 'aged' look, or polished or carved by our skilled stonemasons.
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For more information or to discuss your particular requirements, please contact Vince Tourle on 01622 726262 or email@example.com