Giving new life to a 400 million year old natural material
Caithness flagstone is a Devonian sandstone, named after the Northern Scottish county in which it is most abundant
and famous for its jet black appearance when polished. The flagstone is unrivalled in its versatility and durability,
as a result of this, it can be found around the world in paving, architecture and, more recently, interiors.
We've spent a long time getting to know the properties of this fascinating material and discovering how best to
apply its exceptional properties to stylish and practical solutions for modern living interior and exterior projects.
All quarrying, processing, hand finishing and quality control checks are done by us at source in Caithness,
shipping orders around the UK and beyond. Over 25 years' combined experience means we know
exactly which layer to extract and how to cut and finish the stone to ensure a stunning end product.
The history of Caithness flagstone
Caithness flagstone was formed some 370 million years ago as result of subsidence and deposition in a
structural basin known as the Orcadian Cuvette, also known as Lake Orcadia. The material was believed
to have been discovered by Stoneage farmers who used it to structure their impressive tombs.
In the 19th century the Caithness flagstone industry was buoyant, and the material was shipped all over the
world from 11 major quarries in Caithness. It was during this time that the 'Spittal beds' were discovered to
contain the finest grade material for strength and durability combined.
Norse Stone operates two quarries in Caithness - Lieurary and Banniskirk, both are located near the village of Halkirk.
These are within the Spittal beds, giving us access to the best Caithness flagstone available.
For more about the history of the Caithness flagstone industry, visit the Castlehill Heritage Centre.