Photographer: Geoff Downer
|Loose Quarry, Quarry Wood|
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Grid Reference: TQ763518
This site is important as one of the last remaining quarries located in the type area of the 'Boughton Group' of the Ragstone as defined by Casey in 1960. It is an abandoned quarry still retaining some of the original features of quarrying practice.
The quarry is a classic example of Kentish 'Ragstone and Hassock' lithologies that also shows features associated with cambering of strata towards Loose Valley, for example jointing, faulting and 'gulls'. Quarrying of the Ragstone finished in the 1940s, stone was used locally and possibly as the facing for Loose Viaduct, designed and built by Thomas Telford in 1830.
The quarry is one of only a few remaining in this once important Ragstone mining area. Consequently it is a very important site for research using newly developed techniques (geochemistry, gamma spectrometry etc.). The abandoned quarry retains a number of features characteristic of Ragstone quarrying, such as a central over-burden roadway, overburden and spoil dumps.
The quarry could form part of a heritage trail involving topics such as past quarrying and building stone, importance of geology to water flow, spring lines and the former presence of mills and lakes in the Loose Valley. This is probably the best exposure of Kentish Ragstone in this once important quarrying area around Boughton and Loose.
Access And Safety
Loose Quarry is private property, being owned by the Loose Scouts Group. Its permission must be obtained before entering the quarry. Access is good but the quarry contains high faces. Park towards the bottom of Old Loose Hill, near the Chequers Inn and approach the quarry via Salts Lane and a public footpath to Quarry Wood. The latter part of the path may be overgrown.
(Regionally Important Geological Sites)
RIGS are geological sites that are important for historical, scientific research or educational reasons.
(Sites of Special Scientific Interest)
SSSIs give legal protection to the best sites for wildlife and geology in England.