Valley of Stone has been a three year, £650,000 project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund to record, present and celebrate the quarrying and stone working heritage of Rossnedale. From the late 18th century to the time of the First World War, quarrying was a major industry in Rossendale, employing thousands of men. Rossendale stone was exported in huge quantities throughout the UK and beyond.
The project has taken an ambitious approach to this work. It involved environmental improvements at Thurns Head Quarry, Cowclough Rake, guided walks and town trails, interpretation panels at key sites, conservation by local stone masons, training for volunteers in conservation techniques and oral history skills and creative responses by artists working in different media.
The project is managed by Groundwork Pennine Lancashire with their partners, Horse + Bamboo Theatre, Mid Pennine Arts, CAR Video Unit, Centre for Virtual Environments (University of Salford), and Heritage Recording Services. Our partners have been the key success of the project. Valley of Stone has brought together partners that ordinarily may never meet. This has led to new partnerships and friendships being formed.
As part of the project over £85,000 of volunteer time has been recorded on the project - this is from the wealth of volunteers who have helped. Leading guided walks, recording oral histories, reclaiming and conserving key sites from years of encroachment as well as volunteers who have helped with partner projects.