Callow Quarry, Herefordshire

Callow Quarry is a specialist building stone quarry that lies close to the border between Herefordshire and Monmouthshire. It is a unique source of richly coloured red sandstone, used historically for local buildings and often required for restoration work.

However, it’s not just locally that Callow red sandstone has become sought-after. Its exceptionally high quality, durability and load bearing strength make it a popular choice for both random and coursed building and walling stone across the UK and further afield. Its unique depth of colour has led to orders for it being received from across the world.

Quarrying at Callow has likely taken place for many years, evidenced by very similar stone used in the construction of heritage landmarks such as Goodrich Castle, Pembridge Castle (Welsh Newton), parish churches and various buildings and dwellings in Monmouth and Ross-on-Wye.

The sandstone at Callow, like its sister quarries at Tybubach and Llandraw, is geologically classified as Old Devonian Red. However its colouring is distinctly different. Callow stone is a rich red/brown that may be unique: other sources of similar red sandstone are found to fade to a lighter pinkish tone, and lack the same depth of colour. Consequently Callow Quarry has become an essential source of block stone (dimension stone) for historic building conservation and restoration work in the region, including the Duchy of Cornwall estate at Harewood, near Monmouth.

Where a stone colour has become synonymous with local history, cultural integrity can be preserved if new buildings, extensions and infrastructure are built with matching stone. This is particularly important in Conservation Areas or Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, both being designations found in the area. Callow red sandstone has been used successfully to this effect for walls, steps and paving in the town centre of Abergavenny, and on the City Wall (Tesco development) in Hereford.

Local authorities recognise the importance and value of maintaining regional character. Materials that are locally distinctive have the visual benefit of making buildings more attractive to both local communities and visitors alike. Consequently, planning policies usually favour the use of matching stone. It is therefore important that these materials are readily available and affordable. At Black Mountain Quarries we are proud to have developed operations at Callow that enable us to fulfil demand at a moderate cost.

Where stone needs to be carved, its quality and strength makes it ideal for specially commissioned stone items. Callow red sandstone also favoured by architects and developers for use in private and public gardens and landscapes. In these instances it is often used for rockery stones, boulders and carved architectural features.