The art gallery
People have been building with rocks for thousands of years. The pyramids of ancient Egypt were mostly built from limestone blocks that were carved from local quarries nearly 4,500 years ago. The insides of the pyramids were lined with granite. This had to be brought from a quarry 800 kilometres away and was transported down the River Nile on rafts.
The quarry industry is a major supporter of archaeological digs and many fascinating artefacts have been found at sites around the country.
Tarmac is Britain’s largest supplier of heavy building materials. That means we look after a lot of quarries and dig a lot of rock, sand and gravel!
And we’ve been getting stuck into rock for a long time. In 2003 we celebrated our 100th birthday.
The Quarryville website is our centenary present to you – Britain’s future team of geologists, excavators, surveyors, truck drivers, explosives experts, and lab technicians.
Every year, Tarmac invites hundreds of school groups to organised tours of its quarries all over Britain. And we mean all over Britain – it’s over 700 miles from Tarmac’s quarry in Inverness, Scotland to our sites down in Cornwall.
Most visitors have such a great time exploring our rocky zones they can’t wait to tell their friends back home all about it.
To help them, we invite school groups to create a web-page describing their visit and some of the interesting things learned. Some children prefer to write a short description of their visit – we love that, too.
Others draw pictures – of whole quarries or piles of rock, enormous drills or dumper trucks, long conveyor belt or giant sieves, massive hammers or huge crushers.
Schools are welcome to submit examples of their work done during a quarry visit to Tarmac
At the end of the year, we’ll be giving out prizes for the best websites, essays and drawings.
Prizes will include a special ‘backstage’ visit to the British Museum exhibition, Buried Treasure: Finding Our Past, a British Museum exhibition which is touring all over the country.