Carreg Plas Quarry
Carreg Plas Quarry
‘For monumental work this stone will take its place in the front rank, and be a credit to Wales.’
Capten Trevethan , The Stone Trade Journal, 1904
Carreg Plas Quarry is located near Carmel. It was Captain J Trevethan that discovered the precious stone was indeed jasper, and the quarry officially opened in 1904. The local inhabitants probably didn’t realise that they were treading on such natural wealth, thinking that the unique landscape beneath them was nothing more than some red granite.
It was the first time ever that jasper was discovered in the British Isles. At the time it was thought that most of the supply came from Egypt and India. This discovery on Mynydd Carreg was an important milestone.
As you walk around the area surrounding Plas Carmel, with a closer look, you might begin to notice the distinctive red tones of the jasper stone running deep through the land. You might notice it lurking on walls and banks as you wander the roads – or even on beaches at the end of the peninsula.
The colour and character of this stone has become one of the inspirations for Plas Carmel’s identity.
The site itself was about 450 acres, stretching for 4 miles along the coastline and rich in minerals. Captain Trevethan described the jasper as 'islands rising from the sea, a sight to be admired, even in its rough state'.
It was clear that the quarry had far-reaching potential as an industry.
The Welsh Jasper was advertised to demonstrate that the stone was one of the strongest and hardest to exist - about five times stronger than granite. There was excitement in the world of architecture and a number of architects showed an interest because of its combination of strength and magnificent colour which made it ideal for construction.
There was confidence that Carreg Plas jasper would claim its place in the buildings of the future.
It’s no surprise that Carreg Plas jasper was chosen for a building on one of London’s most famous streets. Norwich Union’s West End branch had moved into a new, grand building on the corner of Piccadilly and St James’s street.
It officially opened in 1908 and was described in the staff magazine as
“one of the most important sites in the West End of London” and “one of the handsomest buildings in the district being faced with jasper and helitrope, a unique form of embellishment, supplemented with bronze statuary of imposing and chaste design”.