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Threshfield Quarry

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Upper Quarry looking north east

Threshfield Quarry is a spectacular, large disused limestone quarry near the villages of Threshfield, Skirethorns and Long Ashes. 

The quarry is divided into two main areas - the upper quarry and lower quarry. Quarrying has been carried on in the area of the quarry for hundreds of years but it is only in the last 100 years that this became heavily industrialised. It is now 2020 and the quarry has been disused for the last ten years. 

The problem of Covid 19 has this year caused a disruption in the quiet life of the quarry. Frequented by local dog walkers, ramblers and the curious visitor - it is usually a quiet, even silent walk through the immense quarry floor, surrounded by the soaring walls. The break of the lockdown and the keenness to get out of towns and cities, combined with the time to travel, resulted in a large new audience. Identified as revellers, ravers, young people and city dwellers, people came in their thousands to the quarry. Narrow approach lanes were blocked and local people were inconvenienced. Dangerous activities were carried out in the quarry - mainly taking a dip in the cold, deep, milky blue quarry lake - known locally as the blue lagoon.

To stop this the quarry entrance is now locked with security permanently in place. Worries over loss of life and a strong, local, understandable complaint has resulted in the Blue Lagoon being filled in. A great shame as this was a beautiful place.

It is now time to take a new look at the quarry, to involve local people and seek to heal the scars of 2020 with atristic community activities to welcome the quarry back into the daily life of the villages that surround it. It is time to look to the future. I propose a series of projects that study the disused quarry over the past ten years, and encourage everyone with a love of the quarry to look to the future, and imagine just what incredible projects could happen in a place like this. I propose a series of discursive and making workshops covering a variety of media, artworks made with local artists, with contributions from school children and community groups. Workshops, artworks and discussions will build towards a plan for the future, whilst also being an acknowledgement and record of the past.

Ann Rutherford is a trustee of Threshfield Quarry Development Trust

Project themes:

Place Identity 

Place making

Curated decay 

Ideas for the future


Environmental damage 

Formats and activities

Curated walks

Workshops with local groups

Prints, drawings, poems, photographs

Texts, films

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