Former limestone quarries, Penmon

Former limestone quarries, Penmon

Aerial photo of Dinmor Park and Penmon quarries
Dinmor Park and Flagstaff quarries, courtesy of the RCAHMW and its Coflein website

Carboniferous limestone has been quarried in this corner of Anglesey for many centuries, some being marketed as ‘Anglesey Marble’ for decorative uses. There was a large quarry, named Dinmor Park, north of the Wales Coast Path here.

Penmon Park quarry was south of Penmon. Limestone from Flagstaff quarry, south-west of Penmon, was principally used to produce lime and flux for steel production.

At the Penmon and Flagstaff sites there are remains of quarry buildings and inclined planes, where stone was lowered to landing stages for transport by sea.

The aerial photo, courtesy of the Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historical Monuments of Wales, shows Dinmor Park quarry with Flagstaff quarry in the distance. It is from the Aerofilms Collection of the National Monuments Record of Wales.

You can see stone from this area at Penmon Priory, Beaumaris Castle and Caernarfon Castle. Later examples of its use include the Menai Suspension Bridge, the Britannia Bridge, Birmingham Town Hall and the wharves and quaysides on the river Liffy in Dublin.

Photo of marble from Penmon at Trefnant churchWhen polished, the stone produces a grey mottled or variegated ‘marble’, sometimes described as ‘leopard skin’. This was marketed as Anglesey Marble. The mottled appearance was caused by a scampi-like creature which burrowed in the mud on the seabed. The burrows eventually solidified into limestone. There are fine examples of Anglesey Marble in Trefnant church, Denbighshire (see photo), where it was used for the pulpit, font and columns of the chancel.

Limestone is still quarried near Moelfre for architectural stone and ‘marble’ tiles. The former Dinmor Park quarry now hosts a fish farm, which once produced sea bass but could not compete with cheap imports. It was taken over by Mowi Scotland to produce wrasse, known as ‘cleaner fish’, which are introduced into salmon farms to control sea lice.

With thanks to Michael Statham and Dr Timothy Palmer, of the Welsh Stone Forum, and the RCAHMW

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Copies of the aerial photo and other images are available from the RCAHMW. Contact: nmr.wales@rcahmw.gov.uk

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