Above what used to be called the Bunter Beds (now the Cannock Chase Formation), lie the Lower Keuper sandstones consisting of fine grained, red-buff sandstones widely used as building stone in mid Staffordshire. They now form part of the Sherwood Sandstone Group in the modern geological terminology. These sandstones form the major part of Tixall with marl to the east and the Bunter Beds to the south and west up to the Hopton fault which runs north/ south on the eastern edge of Stafford.
West/East Geological section
     This west-east section drawn just north of Stafford and Tixall village shows the Mercia Mudstone or Keuper Marl to the west and far east, with the Bromsgrove sandstone or Lower Keuper, overlying the Cannock Chase Formation or Bunter Pebble beds in the zone between the Hopton and Tixall Faults.

Hadrian's Arch at Shugborough
      Tixall stone was used in the building of the 1555 and 1780 Halls at Tixall; for Tixall Gatehouse c1580; for parts of Greenbridge in 1629-30; for the cupola of St Philips Church, now Birmingham Cathedral in 1711-1715; and for Hadrians Arch at Shugborough in 1761-7.

John Gwynne's Bridge at Worcester      The opening of the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal in 1772 enabled stone to be transported further afield from the quay by Tixall Lock. Hence in 1781 it was used for the Battlements and Balustrades of John Gwyn's new bridge over the Severn at Worcester. It was also widely used for local buildings in Tixall and Stafford.

     According to White in 1834 " A large quarry of excellent freestone on this estate, supplies great quantities of stone for building locks and bridges, for which it is particularly well adapted, having the property of resisting the action of water. " In 1839 the stone was assessed for possible use in rebuilding the Houses of Parliament and was described as having fine quartzose grains with a cal-careo-argillo-siliceous cement, and plates of mica. It is a light grey sandstone and was available in large blocks.

Tixall Quarry Face
    In the mid 19th century Tixall Quarries were worked in conjunction with the quarries at Weston as "Salt Quarries" for Lord Shrewsbury. The quarries finally closed at the beginning of the 20th century.

1880 OS Map showing Quarry by Billy's Hill
    Three stone quarries are shown on the 1833 Estate map of Tixall: at Billy's Hill; in Tixall Park now known as Roundwood Quarry; and at Tixall Lodge. There is no public admittance to any of the quarries.

    The 1880 OS Map shows a crane ., and a small building in the Billy's Hill Quarry.

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Last Updated 30.7.2003 

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