The Story of Irish Blue Limestone

The Story of Kilkenny Limestone® and formation of the Irish Blue Limestone in general, begins long ago before the Ages of Man or the Age of the Dinosaurs, during what is called the ‘Age of the Crinoids’, some 340 million years ago.

In the warm, shallow, tropical seas that once extended across much of what we know today as north-east Europe, sea life and calcium carbonate crystallised over time to form the sedimentary rock with its characteristic coral strata, crinoid, brachiopod and gastropod fossils. There it remained for hundreds of millions of years until Europe’s settlers began to conceive of building robust and timeless structures. The story of this material tracks the development of civilisation in Ireland. Blue limestone was used by the Neolithic people to construct monuments in a time before the Pyramids of Egypt were first imagined.

As society developed, the stone was utilized for the more sophisticated means of carving and is seen in Ireland’s famed Celtic crosses. A technically superior building material, the stone’s elegant and timeless qualities have been consistently celebrated in Irish architecture from ancient monasteries and abbeys to the castles and houses of chieftains and lords. This is a tradition that continues through to the modern day. Fully appreciating the rarity and uniqueness of this stone, Kilkenny Limestone has dedicated itself to its correct and appropriate usage in contributing to the great buildings and landscapes of our modern age.