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Thursday, 18 December 2014

Cumbria firm wins deal to roof Australia Prime Minister's home

STONE quarried from Cumbria soil at Kirkby has been shipped 10,500 miles around the world where it will take pride of place on the roof of the Australian prime minister’s official residence.

Kirkby based company Burlington Stone recently filled a £140,000 order to supply 17,100 tiles made out of its famous Westmorland green slate.

The 450-million-year-old stone will be used to tile the roof of The Lodge in Canberra, which is occupied by Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Burlington Stone’s marketing director Sally Finney said the Westmorland variety of stone was in huge demand both nationally and internationally.

She said this latest high-profile international order was a measure of not just the stone’s amazing natural attributes, but the company’s outstanding craftsmanship.

“We then sell our finished stones throughout the world and it’s not just roofing slates that we supply, but stone that can be used for internal and external applications,” she said.

“We quarry all our stone from quarries in the Lake District and offer 11 natural stones. All of those stones are processed here at Kirkby using craftsmen with a lot of experience.”

The Lodge was built in 1927 as a temporary residence “until such time as a monumental prime minister’s residence” was constructed.

However, the “monumental” living quarters envisaged never materialised and the 40-room Georgian revival-style mansion became the elected prime minister’s official abode.

Burlington Stone itself has a rich history, having been founded in 1843 by William Cavendish, the Second Earl of Burlington. The company remains in the hands of the Cavendish family.

While locals might have noticed the stunning Westmorland stone adorning numerous Cumbrian buildings, it is also a fixture on some of London’s most recognisable landmarks.

London’s Tower Bridge and St Pancras Station are inextricably linked to Cumbria through their slate roofs.

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