Quarrying for building stone may have been taking place in 1086 when two quarries in the area were recorded in Domesday. The stone is normally referred to as "Reigate stone". An excavation in Southwark and another in Reigate discovered 1st century use of Reigate stone in Roman times. No roman quarrying evidence has been found to date. Archaeological evidence supports the idea that quarrying was very well developed by the 16th century, and mention of Chaldon stone in building accounts suggest that the workings date back easily to the 13th century. Much of the stone was taken to London, used there, or shipped up the Thames to places like Windsor Castle, or down into Kent and Essex. Workings at Chaldon seem to have closed in the early 18th century. Latterly, the quarries were probably producing refractory slabs for use in glasshouses.
For more information: "Surrey's Ancient Stone Mines", by Peter Burgess.
Access is controlled. Contact www.wcms.org.uk to ask for more details.
Current projects: interpretation of chalk and soot inscriptions as an aid to dating, recording evidence of haulage methods, by horse and by oxen.
Alternative cavers' names: Bedlams Bank, Rockshaw Quarry.