Ancient Monuments

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Balephetrish, marble quarry 80m south east of, Tiree

A Scheduled Monument in Oban South and the Isles, Argyll and Bute

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Latitude: 56.5228 / 56°31'22"N

Longitude: -6.8572 / 6°51'25"W

OS Eastings: 101399

OS Northings: 747326

OS Grid: NM013473

Mapcode National: GBR 9CGG.V8F

Mapcode Global: WGX9X.M9WV

Entry Name: Balephetrish, marble quarry 80m SE of, Tiree

Scheduled Date: 14 January 2002

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Source ID: SM9087

Schedule Class: Cultural

Category: Industrial: mines, quarries

Location: Tiree

County: Argyll and Bute

Electoral Ward: Oban South and the Isles

Traditional County: Argyllshire


The monument comprises the remains of a marble quarry, worked during the late 18th century.

The monument comprises an area of outcropping pink marble, which lies at the foot of Balephetrish Hill, at a height of around 15m OD. It measures around 18m from W to E by 15m transversely, and consists of an area of rock in which evidence of significant quarrying activity can be identified.

The working face stretches up to 3.5m in height. Well-preserved evidence of extractive techniques is clearly visible, including wedge marks, spaced at 0.9 m intervals, and impressions left by the removal of blocks of stone from the working face.

The history of the quarry is well-documented. Commercial quarrying activities began here under the supervision of a Swiss geologist, Rudolph Raspe, in 1791, and production ceased only 3 years later. The marble removed from the quarry appears to have been sent to Inverary and Edinburgh.

The area to be scheduled comprises the remains described and an area around them within which related material may be expected to survive. It is circular on plan and measures approximately 32m in diameter, as marked in red on the accompanying map extract.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

Statement of Scheduling

The monument is of national importance because it has the potential to contribute to an understanding of the small-scale industrial activities often associated with large estates such as that owned by the Campbells of Argyll in the post-medieval and recent periods.

It is of particular importance because of the amount of related documentary evidence available, and because the evidence for quarrying appears to have resulted from activities concentrated within a very narrow timeband, between the years of 1791 and 1794.

Source: Historic Environment Scotland



RCAHMS records the monument as NM 04 NW 33.


RCAHMS (1980) Argyll: An Inventory of the Monuments, Vol. 3, Mull, Tiree, Coll and Northern Argyll (excluding the early medieval and later monuments of Argyll). HMSO (Edinburgh).

Source: Historic Environment Scotland

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