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Beer stone is a creamy-white, fine-textured limestone that takes its name from the town of Beer, Devon, where it was quarried and mined from Roman times. It is also found in other places in south-west England. Because of its fine grain, it is a "live stone", which means that it can be sawn or squared up in any direction - the crystal structure does not restrict the directions in which it can be worked; furthermore when first mined, it is relatively soft and easily cut, but it hardens with exposure to the air. This makes it relatively easy to work. Stone from the quarry at Beer was used in the construction of several of southern England's ancient cathedrals (including Exeter Cathedral and St Paul's Cathedral), Westminster Abbey, and Windsor Castle, as well as for many town and village churches. Extraction was particularly intense during the Middle Ages, but continued until the 1920s. Parts of the Beer mine are open to the public as a tourist attraction. An adit to the mine can be seen from the South West Coast Path east of Branscombe, having been exposed by a landslip in the late 18th Century.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Beer_stone". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|