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Binstead quarries

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‘I would ... first conduct the reader to Binstead, which lies about a mile to the west of Ryde. There are several quarries on both sides of the turnpike road to Newport, and others in a field which lies on the left of the footpath that turns off from the main road just beyond a Doric lodge, and leads by copses and hedge-rows to the picturesque hamlet of Binstead, affording here and there glimpses of the most charming rural scenery. The quarries for the extraction of the stone vary in depth from ten to twenty feet, and appear to have been opened without regard to any regular plan, wherever it was thought a layer of compact stone could be easily reached.’ Gideon Algernon Mantell, Geological excursions round the Isle of Wight (1847).

The Binstead quarries were at Binstead on the Isle of Wight Estates, and were worked for many centuries, intermittently, until the early 20th century. The Estate also owned quarries at Gurnard, which were active in the 18th century.[1]

In 1872, for instance, the Fleming Estate received £69 16s 6d for stone sold from Binstead by quarryman William James.[2] James was 'the last of a long line of excavators', who finally abandoned the quarry in 1876.[3]

By 1889, the quarries were 'all worked out or abandoned'.[4] But shortly before 1912, a small seam was opened up in the copse west of Binstead Church.[5] The War Shrines, built 1917, are reputed to be the last buildings made of this quarried stone.


  1. Disbursements of the Fleming Estate, 1762.
  2. Estate Accounts, 1872 (WFMS:11 ). This is about £5,850 at 2008 prices.
  3. Proceedings‎, Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society, 1894. William James (1817-1886) is listed as a quarryman in the 1871 Census, but a dairyman in 1881.
  4. Henry William Bristow, Clement Reid, Aubrey Strahan, The geology of the Isle of Wight (1889).
  5. Victoria County History, A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 5 (1912).
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