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The unique quality and rarity of Connemara Marble has been treasured for centuries. The earliest evidence for the use of Connemara Marble dates back to the Neolithic era, over five thousand years ago at Lough Gur in County Limerick. Our gemstone has been quarried since the 1700s, and has been exported for use worldwide, but there is evidence of the stone being used by humans for thousands of years. An exhibit of Connemara marble can be found in the National Museum of Ireland. You can see an ancient piece, honed by a Stone Age man who worked the marble 4000 years ago to make axes!
However it was in the early nineteenth century that Connemara Marble was rediscovered. This development coincided with a surge of building across the water in England. At the time Britain was at the height of its power and the Empire was thriving. A period of calm and prosperity led to a demand for great buildings with ornate and decorative interiors in Gothic, Renaissance and Classical styles. In Kensington Palace, Westminster Cathedral, London’s General Post office and the National History Museum in Oxford you can see fine examples of this rare marble.
In 1895 New York marble merchant and leader in marble export Robert C Fisher imported large quantities to the USA. The most famous example in America can be seen in the Senate Chamber and the Senate Post Office of the State Capital Building in Pennsylvania. The gemstone of Ireland adorns many buildings across the world especially churches and cathedrals.
Our Connemara Marble quarry is located in Lissoughter, County Galway. The quarry was first opened in the 1820’s under the ownership of the Martin family. At its peak, marble from the quarry was extracted and used in many of Ireland’s most important buildings. So famous was the quarry that it was visited by King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra in 1903. Sadly, due to the first world war and changes in building materials the quarry was abandoned. Marble from this historic site has been used in some of the world’s finest buildings, and today we can still find the most beautiful of marble that has lain hidden in the ground for over 900 million years .
As demand for marble products increased and our company moved to expand into the Irish jewelry making business John’s grandson, Stephen Walsh was tasked with securing a permanent source of the precious raw material and in 1983 he succeeded in purchasing this quarry and this is where today your jewelry piece begins its life. Under Stephen Walsh the company has grown and expanded. We have invested in modern stone working equipment and Stephen takes an active part in the design, development and production of the wide range of natural, authentic pieces that we produce.
The motto of our company is simply “There is no greater designer than Mother Nature Herself”.
You can see all our Celtic gemstone Jewelry and Irish Gifts here at www.connemaramarble.com
Please enter your contact details here and your question and I will answer it as soon as possible, many thanks. Stephen