Clipsham Stone

“Clipsham may be trusted: there is no stone but Portland in which I have more faith” – Sir Thomas Graham Jackson 1893 (One of the most distinguished architects of his generation, the man who remodelled Victorian Oxford)

Clipsham stone is a Lincolnshire oolite Limestone described as coarse, Shelly, it is widely accepted as one of, if not the hardest Jurassic Limestones in the country.

The colouration is brown to pale cream and also light grey and occasionally blue.

Notable historic projects include Canterbury Cathedral, The Houses of Parliament, York Minster and Trinity College, Cambridge Kings College and Cambridge.

The original Quarries (Ref Jennifer S Alexander).

7 Quarries produced Clipsham Stone across Rutland and Lincolnshire.

The Clipsham formation is described as lying broadly from Greetham to Careby and from Castle Bytham to Pickworth.

LocationDate Commenced
Big Pits Clipsham11th Century
Edenham12th Century
Corby Glen14th Century
Holbeck Greetham15th Century
Holywell14th Century
Burton Goggles17th Century
Castle Bytham20th Century

Transport

In the medieval period the stone would have been transported by ox cart or Horse and Cart.

Much of the stone was carried a few miles to the East and loaded onto barges on the West Glen River. These Cargos would eventually be Re-Loaded on to larger vessels which would head to The Wash by navigating The River Welland.

In 1852 the railway came to Little Bytham.

A sidings and shunting facilities along with a 5 Tonne crane made easy work of the Clipsham Blocks.

The disused Little Bytham sidings along with its engine shed would become The Goldholme Stone Masonry yard during the 1990s.

In the early 1900s the movement of block gave way to Road Haulage.

Today Clipsham Stone is exctracted at Big Pits in Clipsham and Hooby Lane quarry near Greetham.

The map of Clipsham Quarries by Dr Jennifer Alexander