South Yorkshire stone helps preserve Tower of London
21 March 2011
Stone produced by a South Yorkshire family firm has helped experts preserve part of the Tower of London for future generations.
Hampole Fine Limestone, supplied by Warmsworth Stone, which is sought after for its fine grain and honey coloration, has been used during a four-year programme to conserve the prominent Devereux Tower.
Warmsworth director Sally Frith said: “The creamy colour of our limestone was found to be a good match for dressings and mouldings at the tower, which has been the case with other historic architecture in London. It’s a real privilege to have been involved in the Tower of London project given its profile and important place in history.
“We’ve also supplied the stone or done masonry work on the restoration of many churches and stately buildings elsewhere in the country and locally.”
Warmsworth Stone extracts stone in huge blocks from a quarry at Hampole, Doncaster, and it is then cut in the firm’s nearby saw yard to be supplied to other companies or transferred to their manufacturing base at Thurnscoe, near Barnsley.
Its five highly skilled stone masons use hand tools and age-old techniques to intricately carve the material and other natural stone for restoration, renovation or new build projects at both public buildings and private developments and homes.
Work at the tower was carried out by Chichester-based stone and conservation specialists Cathedral Works Organisation in collaboration with Historic Royal Palaces, the charity which looks after the tower, along with English Heritage and the project’s architects.
Warmsworth Stone was set up by Sally’s late husband John in 1995, selling fireplaces. In 2002 the Frith family, now with son Simon as managing director, took over and retained some of the original staff.
Major investment has taken place in new state of the art machinery and the workforce has more than doubled in recent years, with Simon’s wife Helen also joining the business on the design side.
The company makes a range of natural stone fireplaces sold through retailers across the country. These form the centrepiece of a number of grand and celebrity homes. Other products include flooring and granite worktops for kitchens and bathrooms.
Under the Enterprising Barnsley programme, which offers business support to Barnsley businesses with growth potential, Warmsworth Stone has received free advice from management and marketing consultants and other help.
The Enterprising Barnsley programme has attracted £2.89m investment from the European Regional Development Fund as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme.
Sally said: “It’s invaluable to be able to talk things through with someone who has an outside and expert perspective. As a result, we’ve been able to develop our website which is hugely important for showcasing our products.”
Notes to News Editors:
Photographs of stone masons available on request.
Enterprising Barnsley is a partnership between Barnsley Development Agency, Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre and University Campus Barnsley. It is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to provide an integrated programme of business support. For further information, contact programme Martin Beasley on 01226 772648 or at firstname.lastname@example.org