Quarrying is one of our oldest industries and still a significant aspect of Leicestershire’s economy. The rocks of Charnwood Forest are ideal for construction purposes and the production of crushed stone, known as aggregates, because they are so hard. In Whitwick, early quarries were in Cademan Street; at Carr Hill; and at smaller sites north of the village.

Large-scale quarrying was prompted by the increased demand for crushed stone for better highways in the nineteenth century. In 1893, The Whitwick Granite Company was established by local businessmen and quarrying began near Leicester Road at Forest Rock Quarry and, later, Peldar Tor Quarry. The Whitwick Granite Company operated the quarries until 1938.

Forest Rock Quarry, Whitwick 1911

A record-breaking 150 ton stone, reputedly the largest single block excavated in any known quarry at the time

Several takeovers and mergers followed; the current owners are Midland Quarry Products. Quarrying ceased in 1996. Whitwick Historical Group has an extensive photographic archive relating to quarrying in the 20th century.

In 1995, with the establishment of the National Forest, the planting of over 20,000 native trees and shrubs began at Forest Rock Quarry. This quarry had been infilled with overburden from Peldar Tor Quarry. The new wood, which has public access, is known as Forest Rock Wood.