McKeon’s Kilkenny Blue Limestone
Since 1950, we at McKeon Stone have been continuing the ancient tradition of extracting Europe’s finest limestone at Threecastles Quarry, Kilkenny, in the heart of Ireland.
A Naturally Beautiful Product
Kilkenny Blue Limestone, a sedimentary rock, was laid down about 330 million years ago in the Carboniferous era when Ireland was covered by a warm shallow sea. It is composed of calcareous (chalky) deposits including the skeletons and shells of long-extinct marine organisms such as molluscs; therefore, some types of limestone contain fascinating and beautiful fossils. As a natural material, our limestone has variations in shade and composition which no artificial product can mimic; because of these unique qualities, experts in historic buildings always insist on authentic limestone for their restoration projects.
Quarrying Limestone – an Irish Tradition
Limestone has traditionally been quarried and worked in many parts of Ireland. Excavations have shown that limestone has been extracted at Kilkenny since at least 1760, through use of limestone in Ireland goes right back to prehistoric times, for example, limestone is used in the Neolithic burial chambers found in many parts of the island. Traditional Celtic crosses were carved from it; Celtic craftsmen would have valued the fine grain of the best limestone, just as we do today. Kilkenny Blue Limestone is of particularly high quality, being easily-worked and very durable.
The McKeon Family
The McKeon family has a long tradition of quarrying and manufacturing. We have been known for our top-quality Kilkenny Blue Limestone since the 1950s, and we are still an Irish family concern, although our products are shipped to many parts of Europe. We aim to deliver a personal service and to form a close relationship with our customers; we believe we can offer a uniquely flexible response, from individual items, such as door-frames and lintels, to major building projects. We are proud of our ability to respond to challenges of all degrees of size and complexity.
Threecastles Quarry in Kilkenny is where we extract limestone in large, premium quality blocks. Around 15,000 cubic metres are produced every year. Our experienced staff use the finest, most up-to-date technology and equipment. The limestone we produce at Threecastles Quarry has regularly been subject to rigorous testing, which has repeatedly confirmed its consistency of quality and its durability. Threecastles Quarry is a very special place; it’s a strange, other-worldly landscape recently led to it being selected as the background for a fashion photoshoot.
A Versatile Building Material
Kilkenny Blue Limestone has many uses in the building industry. Mediaeval churches were traditionally built from limestone, and in later centuries it was the stone of choice for pillars, window sills, corner-stones and lintels. Classical buildings used limestone for columns and porticos as well as the facing. Limestone paving slabs remain as an unmistakable feature of historic city centres. In recent years there has been a revival of interest in the use of traditional materials for modern buildings, and Kilkenny Blue Limestone is once again being appreciated for its beauty and durability.
Why not get in touch with us to discuss how we can help you get the very best for your building project?