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Working at Cocklow Quarry c1907

In about 1812 a Mr Jackson discovered how to work hard granite stone by watching some Aberdeen granite being split at Chatham with case-hardened steel-faced tools. He secured a lease on Mountsorrel Hill (Broad Hill quarry) and soon built up a business employing from 50 to 100 men. He made use of the Loughborough to Leicester Canal, opened in the 1790s to take stone to Leicester and beyond.

Around 1832 William Martin came across some men 'piddling' the stone in a small quarry (probably Keke Hill pit) off Wood Lane, Quorn. He recognised the potential and in 1844 took over Jackson's Mountsorrel business. Within five years that labour force had increased to 200.

The Broad Hill quarry continued to grow with great activity. Further quarries were opened much later, the first being Hawcliffe quarry in 1900 and then another was started in 1906 in Buddon Wood named Cocklow quarry. The railway was extended into Cocklow quarry in 1906. Work at this quarry ceased before the second world war and it was used by the Americans based at Quorn Park as a firing range.

In the early 1880s, boys whose fathers worked at the quarry, were allowed to leave the Quorn Primary School before the end of the morning session (much to the annoyance of the Master at the time) to walk to the quarry to deliver their fathers' lunches.

Note the lack of safety equipment and clothing in this photograph.


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 Submitted on: 2010-06-07
 Submitted by: Don Wix
 Artefact ID: 820
 Print: View artefact in printer-friendly page or just on its own.

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