Lanterdan Quarry

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Lanterdan Quarry was once one of the largest quarries in north Cornwall, producing quality slate.

The remains of the quarry are impressive, located on the cliff above Vean Hole Beach, near Trebarwith Strand. Particularly notable is the tall pillar of rock. The quarrymen worked around this stone, not bothering to quarry it as it was not of good quality. With the good slate having been removed, this pinnacle was left standing like a sentinel on the cliff edge. These inferior quality pieces of slate were known, in the Cornish dialect as 'scullocks'.

The quarrymen worked the cliff face but never quarried the stone at the base of the cliff because of a geological fault here called the Trambley Cove Formation. This volcanic lava which was of no use to the quarrymen.

Today, Lanterdan Quarry is owned by the National Trust. Not only is it impressive because of its location but it is also a site of geological interest for two reasons. Firstly, it contains the fossils of brachiopods (shellfish). Secondly, monazite is found here - a rare mineral.

Research has shown that slate was being quarried in this area as early as 1305.

Lanterdan Quarry was definitely in production by 1493, being leased by the Manor of Tintagel to Richard Cullow.

For several centuries, Lanterdan remained in operation until it finally closed just prior to the Second World War.


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