WATCH: Vale Mill’s north edge cleared for planting

THE Vale Mill quarry project moved to another stage yesterday with preparation of the now-cleared northern edges ready for planting and seeding.

‘More than 200 hedging plants and 20 trees have been purchased to create a "softer" feel to the north end of the quarry,’ said site and quarry owner James Ridout.

Vale Mill. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 29507032)

‘Over the coming weeks we will be spreading topsoil, seeding the lawn, planting the trees and hedges and launching the pontoons and boat.

‘Once we have access onto the water we will be able to see how deep the quarry is.

‘We have completed the survey of the upper rock face and we now believe we are able to build the “box” within the quarry side, something we are continuing to explore and develop.'

It was during the clearing of the previously overgrown northern edges that two dilapidated buildings were unearthed.

Vale Mill. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 29507045)

States archaeologist Dr Philip de Jersey carefully excavated the site but ultimately was left puzzled as to their exact purpose.

‘One possibility we have been considering is that the building is not actually associated with the quarrying, but with the later use of the quarry for water storage,’ he said at the time.

Vale Mill. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 29507043)

‘The main reason for thinking this is that on the 1898 Ordnance Survey map there are two small buildings in this location, neither of which are a match for the plan of the building we can see now.’

The owners of Vale Mill and quarry have full permission to develop the old mill, which was built in 1854, into a single dwelling with a substantial extension at basement level, tunnel and cantilevered structure out from the eastern end of the 19th century quarry.

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