Frosterley is a small village in lower Weardale situated between Wolsingham and Stanhope at the confluence of Bollihope Burn with the River Wear. It has a convenience store with post office, a take-away fish shop and two public houses. Wolsingham (3 miles) and Stanhope (2 miles) offer a wider range of services.
Recent archaeological excavations at St Botolph's Chapel confirm an 8th century saxon settlement connected with the monks of Monkwearmouth.Â
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Frosterley is well known for the ornamental limestone which for many centuries has been quarried here to make fonts, floors and columns in some of our most important churches and public buildings. A document from 1183 mentions 'Lambert the marble cutter' of Stanhope - almost certainly a reference to the working of Frosterley Marble. In Durham Cathedral, Frosterley Marble has been used for flooring and columns, most famously in the 13th century Chapel of the Nine Altars.
You can see a superb natural outcrop of Frosterley Marble in the Bollihope Burn at Harehope Quarry, just outside Frosterley in Weardale. This disused limestone quarry is now an environmental education centre (www.harehopequarry.org). The best place to view the Frosterley Marble is from a footbridge on a permissive path at the west end of the quarry.
Downloadable the Frosterley Marble brochure. This is additional to the walk leaflet (left)
In 1847 the railway was opened to Frosterley to extract greater limestone for the steel industry opening up huge quarries which are now overgrown and disused though the railway remains as part of the heritage line between Stanhope and Wolsingham.