I haven’t written much about the progress of the Heavitree Squilometre Quarry Pod. It’s been a period of research then consolidation and creative pondering, by turns fascinating, inspiring, and great fun!
So far, what activities have we done?
Last year there were a number of community surveys in different parts of the city: the first on 25 June was around Heavitree; the second on 24 August started at the quarries and wandered around Wonford; and the last on 26 November was a “Red City” Tour around the city centre. There is a lot of material now recorded on Dr Jon Cinnamon’s GIS app.
I was able to join the second survey, and was delighted that one of the residents of Lancaster Close invited us into his back garden to view the quarry face up close. Some garden wall!
I also enjoyed revisiting St Loyes Chapel. It really is a great example of lots of different building materials, and is a perfect venue for learning the differences between the local Heavitree Breccia, Poltimore Red Sandstone and Rougemont Volcanic Trap.
On 16 October, archaeologist John Allan gave the Quarry Pod an immensely interesting and in-depth introduction to Heavitree Breccia, the geology and the history of its use as a building material. He repeated this on 6 March, as a talk to joint Heavitree Squilometre and Heavitree Local History Society audiences. [Update: For those who are interested, an in-depth report is now available on the Society website.]
On 31 January, former Cathedral stonemason Peter Dare introduced us to the history of the quarries, the process of quarrying and transporting the stone, and the character of the stone as a building material.
And what are we planning?
- Artist Steven Bramble is working on a Heavitree Stone font that I will use as the basis for an online A-Z trail of sites around the city. More on this soon.
- Local historian Laurie Fentiman and Steven and Mary Bramble are working on a series of trail leaflets in three particular areas of the city.
- Heavitree Squilometre animateur JoJo is planning a big celebration of Heavitree Stone, tracing the route it took by horse-drawn cart from the quarries into the city.
- Wendy Carter and Suze Gardner of Stage Wright Productions are writing two pieces for performance.
- I’m going to build a website (surprise!) to drawn all the strands together.