Friends of the Valley of Stone

The Friends of The Valley of Stone formed in July 2011.  It has been formed to take forward the Valley of Stone project after the initial 3 year funded project from the Heritage Lottery Fund draws to an end.

Our aims are:

  • To raise awareness of quarry heritage and the Valley of Stone to the local community and beyond
  • To preserve and conserve the physical, social / cultural heritage of the quarries and the quarry's natural beauty
  • Increase our knowledge base through projects that may arise


Membership is open to anyone who has an interest in assisting the group to achieve its aims and is willing to adhere to the rules of the group.

Next Group Activity - Lee Quarry Sawshed - continue to paint and clean artefacts.  Meet at Futures Park on Weds, 20th June 6.30pm.

Open to All - Sunday 24th June Guided Walk - Thurns Head and Ab Top - Stone everywhere overlooking the Cowm Valey.  A rich heritage walk following an exciting moorland tramway from Thurns Head to Ab Top.  Meet Guide Arthur Baldwin outside Whitworth Museum, North St car park, off Market St, Whitworth.  Starts at 1.30pm, some steep terrain, 5 - 6 miles.

Next FOVOS Planning Meeting - Thursday June 28th, 8pm at The Crown Inn, off Tod Rd Bacup.


We are seeking the largest flagstone (in surface area) in the nation and also the longest single span of flag or slate (usually foot-bridges). For many years Colne in north east Lancashire has claimed that the large 10 foot square flag outside their town hall is the largest in the UK. The source of this flag is Cloughfold right in the centre of the Valley of Stone district - so we feel quite flattered. But our research has found bigger contenders elsewhere.

Large Flag at Colne Town Hall
















The biggest flags we have recorded so far dominate the frontage of St George’s Hall in Liverpool – a run of 11 the biggest measuring 13 foot 2 inches x 10 ft 6 inches. 

St George's Hall, Liverpool

















We believe them to be sourced at Roby Mill near Skelmersdale, and were probably sailed down to Liverpool on the Leeds –Liverpool canal. Haigh Hall is nearer to this source, and has a 13 foot 6 inch x 9 foot flag on its patio, but can’t match St George’s Hall.

The longest single slab of flag we have managed to record so far is 18 foot long x 3 foot wide at ‘Slatey Bridge’ east of Lane Ends north of Grindleton in Bowland, Lancashire. 

Longest Flag - at Slatey Bridge

















If any other area can beat these dimensions, we would be very pleased to hear from you and get to the truth. Come on Bradford, Halifax, Huddersfield and Leeds – get your tape measures out!


For more information contact the Secretary - Arthur Baldwin or the Chairperson - Liz Hinchliffe