Pooil Vaaish pure black limestone is extracted from an historic quarry on the south coast of the Isle of Man in the middle of the Irish Sea.

Famous for its historic use in national cathedrals and monuments this unique stone with its satin shine and texture is in high demand for projects across the globe.

With new planning permission and mining lease in place, the owners have invested heavily in equipment and large blocks are, once again, being extracted from the quarry.

In order to minimise the stresses on the stone, it is extracted using the ancient “plug and feather” technique which involves hammering wedges into holes that have been predrilled in lines to encourage breakage along those lines. Nowadays we have a drilling rig that operates itself and wedges that are hammered down with a power pack so it’s easier (and quicker) for the quarrymen!

Areas and levels within the quarry yield different variations and bed thicknesses of black limestone which range from as little as 50mm up to 400mm. We have a very limited area of the extremely hard Pooil Vaaish Fossil which polishes up to a beautiful black and white pattern with each piece nature’s work of art. Other stones have varying amounts of veining – calcite and quartz, tiny fossil fragments and pieces and flecks of iron pyrites. The ares with the least amount of markings are the most sought after, but each piece of stone has its own beauty.