The remnants of the Quarries remain as one of the favourite spots on the Island. Located on the sheltered eastside of the Island, the scenery is very different from the abundant wilderness of the plateau and west sidelands.
The ruins of the cottages are impressive, and many visitors are saddened by the loss of these beautiful dwellings: whilst they may well have made desirable lettings, that moment has probably gone, as the cost and scale of the operation to make them habitable and serviceable is now prohibitive.
There has been use of Lundy granite for millennia, and each era has brought along a further attempt to capitalise on the resource. However, the major attempts that were made in the 19th Century have left us with much of what we see now. The work started in 1863, when William Hudson Heaven (the owner) leased the rights to a Mr. McKenna. The Lundy Granite Company was launched , and immediately was filled with enthusiasm as it secured the supply contract for the rebuilding of the London South Embankment: including the famous County Hall. However, the contract was cancelled on initial delivery, as the quality of the stone was considered inferior.
But the initial enthusiasm carried through, with accommodation being built, at least temporarily, in a number of locations, for approximately 50 labourers – a substantial population increase. The permanent location was decided on as slightly to the North of Quarter Wall, just to the left hand side as one walks through the gate going away from the village. The foundations and layout of the buildings are clearly visible. These are the true Quarterwall Cottages: although this name is more frequently, but incorrectly applied to the remains of Belle Vue Cottages, that command such an imposing view of the East sidelands.
The logistics of the venture were awesome: and the company was never successful, quietly folding up in 1868. However, many attempts were made to quarry on the Island: the last, failed, attempt was made in 1899.
The VC Quarry: dedicated to John Harman,VC.