24 February 2011

Much Wenlock Quarries II

To one side of the limestone escarpment of Wenlock Edge is Lea Quarry, operated for the production of roadstone until about four years ago, when extraction became uneconomic. Wenlock is of international significance in geological circles, part of the Silurian Period (440-410 million years ago) being known as the Wenlock Era. As at Farley Quarry (YMGW passim), just along the road, brachiopods and coral are in abundance, as the Edge was a reef back before God was invented.

The National Trust, which owns and manages seven miles of the Edge, about half its length from Much Wenlock to Craven Arms, has reportedly expressed an interest in acquiring the quarry as a wildlife refuge. For now, the elevators and crushers of the quarry, which would hopefully remain in situ, are starting the long journey of returning to the earth they served to work.

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