On Tuesday 28 October Base 3 walked around Scalford learning all about ironstone. It is a rock that is special to the area as there is a lot in Scalford and in the Vale of Belvoir. We took pictures of buildings made from ironstone.
Ironstone is a golden-brown colour and people like to use it to build houses and churches. It is found mainly around this part of Leicestershire in places like Scalford, Waltham, Holwell and Eaton. However, the quarries around here are no longer used so if someone needs ironstone it is usually brought from Oxfordshire which is the closest place where it is still quarried.
Ironstone was also popular for the iron inside it and this was an important local industry. Iron is a very strong and sturdy metal. It is used for piping, construction, machinery and so much more. It is also good for selling because a lot was found near here and it could be sold at a decent price. The Holwell Ironworks near Asfordby was built for this reason and a lot of railways were built in this area, especially to take the ironstone to the ironworks. There are still ironworks there today, but they no longer use ironstone and none of the small railways are used any more.
For more information about the history of Holwell Ironworks see:
by Tommy Adams, Verity Musson & Jamie Goodwin