Location: Corner of Wellington and Waterloo Streets.
It is rare that historic quarries are accessible to the public, and that is one of the reasons the Ross Historic Quarry is so special.
Visit the Quarry and you will marvel at its striking beauty and be struck by the many vibrant colours of the stone. It is quiet, and there is a sense of peace. Standing on the top of the quarry, you are on a hill gazing out over the village and surrounding farmlands. It is a wonderful natural amphitheater, the site of concerts, theatrical performances, and poetry readings.
There is interpretation before the entrance to the quarry site and visitors can gain an understanding about colonial quarrying methods, tools, and the trades who toiled at the rock.
The story of the beautiful sandstone Ross Bridge and buildings in the village began long before what you see. The quarry tells an earlier story.
Did you know that Ross sandstone was renowned for its superior quality? Even described in a letter to the editor in the Colonial Times in 1827: “perhaps one of the finest quarries of freestone in the world for building, is contained in a small hill in the township of Ross.”
Since the stonemasons ceased working on the quarry, it became a tip site, and was overgrown for many years. Yet generations of Ross locals understood the significance of this quarry. Experts have identified it as one of the best examples of a colonial sandstone quarry in the area.
Words became actions and in 2015 a project began. Facilitated by the Tasmanian Wool Centre, there were many complexities to work through; leases, fund raising, conservation reports, site excavations, research, clean-ups and working bees. A united community and dedicated, passionate volunteers turned the historic quarry into the stunning site it is today. Officially opened to the public in October 2019, there are plans to excavate more of the quarry and expand the site.
Exact dates of the quarry’s history are difficult to pinpoint, however archaeological research indicates it was most likely used from the late 1800s to around 1910.
Drive to the quarry, or take a walk from the village.
Let’s consider the hard labour of the men that hewed this stone….