Ironstone is a sedimentary rock, either deposited directly as a ferruginous sediment or created by chemical replacement, that contains a substantial proportion of an iron compound from which iron can be smelted commercially. This term is customarily restricted to hard coarsely banded, nonbanded, and noncherty sedimentary rocks of post-Precambrian age. The Precambrian deposits, which have a different origin, are generally known as banded iron formations. The iron minerals comprising ironstones can consist either of oxides, i.e. limonite, hematite, and magnetite; carbonates, i.e. siderite; silicates, i.e. chamosite; or some combination of these minerals.[1][2]

Ironstone Breathitt
Ironstone (sandstone with iron oxides) from the Mississippian Breathitt Formation, Mile Marker 166, I-64, Kentucky


Freshly cleaved ironstone is usually grey. The brown external appearance is due to oxidation of its surface. Ironstone, being a sedimentary rock is not always homogeneous, and can be found in a red and black banded form called tiger iron, sometimes used for jewelry purposes.

Sometimes ironstone hosts concretions or opal gems.


Ironstone occurs in a variety of forms. The various forms of ironstone include siderite nodules; deeply weathered saprolite, i.e. (laterite); and ooidal ironstone.


Ironstone as a source of iron

Ironstone, although widespread, is a limited source of iron (Fe). Historically, most of British iron originated from ironstone, but it is now rarely used for this purpose because it is far too limited in quantity to be an economic source of iron ore.


Ironstone's oxide impurities render it useless as a component in ceramics: the "ironstone china" of Staffordshire and American manufacture, a fine white high-fired vitreous semi-porcelain, commonly used for heavy-duty dinner services in the 19th century,[3] depends on the whiteness of its body. Its "iron" quality is in its resistance to chipping, not in any ingredient in its manufacture.

In construction

The stone can be used as a building material. Examples include the parish churches at Kirby Bellars, Eydon Hall and South Croxton in Leicestershire.

See also


  1. ^ U.S. Bureau of Mines Staff (1996) Dictionary of Mining, Mineral, & Related Terms. Report SP-96-1, U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Bureau of Mines, Washington, D.C.
  2. ^ Neuendorf, K. K. E., J. P. Mehl Jr., and J. A. Jackson, J. A., eds. (2005) Glossary of Geology (5th ed.). Alexandria, Virginia, American Geological Institute. 779 pp. ISBN 0-922152-76-4
  3. ^ G. Bernard Hughes, English and Scottish Earthenware, Abbey Library
Charwelton railway station

Charwelton railway station was a station at Charwelton in Northamptonshire on the former Great Central Railway main line, the last main line to be built from the Northern England to London. The station opened with the line on 15 March 1899.

Devil's Jumps, Churt

The Devil's Jumps are a series of three small hills near the village of Churt in the county of Surrey in southern England. In the 18th century, the hills were known as the Devil's Three Jumps. The Devil's Jumps are linked to a body of folklore relating to the surrounding area. The highest of the three Jumps is Stony Jump. Middle Devil's Jump measures 60 feet (18 m) high and once supported an observatory built by 19th century British astronomer Richard Christopher Carrington.The hills are outcrops of an ironstone variety of sandstone of the Folkestone Beds of Lower Greensand set among acidic heathland. The three hills are formed of an ironstone known locally as carstone, marginally distinct from Bargate stone, strongly cemented with iron making it resistant to erosion by the elements.

The first mention of the Devil's Jumps appears to be on a map by John Rocque, dating to 1765. William Cobbett mentioned the Devil's Jumps in his Rural Rides, first published in 1830. Of the hills he says:

At Churt I had, upon my left, three hills out upon the common, called the Devil's the shape of three rather squat sugar-loaves, along in a line upon this heath...[with] a rock-stone upon the top of one of them as big as a Church tower...

Eric Tonks

Eric Tonks (1914 – 26 December 1995) was an English writer and historian of British industrial railways. He is regarded as one of the pioneers of the industrial archaeology of railways and quarrying. He was also a noted Jazz discographer.


Finedon is a small town in the Borough of Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, with a population at the 2011 census of 4,309 people. In 1086 when the Domesday Book was completed, Finedon (then known as Tingdene) was a large royal manor, previously held by Queen Edith, wife of Edward the Confessor. From the 1860s the parish was much excavated for its iron ore, which lay underneath a layer of limestone and was quarried over the course of 100 years or more. Local furnaces produced pig iron and later the quarries supplied ore for the steel works at Corby. A disused quarry face in the south of the parish is a geological SSSI.

Finedon is situated 4 miles (6.4 km) to the north east of Wellingborough. Nearby communities include Irthlingborough, Burton Latimer and Great Harrowden.

First Citizens BancShares

First Citizens Bancshares, Incorporated (NASDAQ: FCNCA) is a bank holding company based in Raleigh, North Carolina that operates First Citizens Bank. First Citizens operates in 18 states and the District of Columbia in the United States, concentrated in the Southeastern United States, Southern California, and Washington.

Assuming completion of a merger announced in June 2014, First Citizens Bank will become the sixth largest bank in the Southeast with 575 branches in 18 states and the District of Columbia, $30.7 billion in assets, $26.1 billion in deposits, and $18 billion in loans. In 2010 the company employed approximately 4,400 employees.First Citizens Bank serves clients in more than 200 locales with 571 branches in Arizona, California, Colorado, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

Horley, Oxfordshire

Horley is a village and civil parish in the north of Oxfordshire about 3 miles (5 km) north-west of Banbury.

Hunsbury Hill

Hunsbury Hill is an Iron Age hill fort two miles (3 km) south-west of the centre of the town of Northampton in the county of Northamptonshire.It is probable that defences were built at Hunsbury Hill between the 7th and 4th centuries BC. The deep ditch excavated has survived to the present day. A wooden rampart was

also constructed; there is evidence that Hunsbury hill fort's inner ramparts were burned down and vitrified; this is rare in England.Ironstone extraction began at the hill fort in about 1883, after an attempt to have the site protected under the Ancient Monuments Act of 1882 failed due to the cost of compensating the landowner. Many of the fort's internal features were destroyed, but the work revealed up to 300 pits which, according to the curator of Northampton Museum in 1887, contained "numerous artefacts that now comprise one of the finest collections... of Prehistoric antiquities in England". The finds included iron weapons and tools, bronze brooches, pottery, glass and around 159 quern-stones. All were given to the town's museum.Hunsbury Hill fort is a designated Scheduled Ancient Monument. Parts of the fort's banks have been badly eroded because of the 19th century quarrying, the effects of burrowing European rabbits and damage from tree roots. It is now managed as a park by Northampton Borough Council.

Part of the route of the railway built for the quarrying remains and beginning in 1975 has been modified for use by the Northamptonshire Ironstone Railway Trust who added a new line. The track is used and maintained by the Trust. As the use of the quarries finished by 1920 the original 3 ft 8 inches gauge track was not used. The Trust laid a mixture of standard gauge, metre gauge and two foot gauge track but from 1982 only standard gauge track has been used.The area around the hill is the large Northampton housing estate called West Hunsbury.

Ironstone, Massachusetts

Ironstone is an historic village, (today known mainly as South Uxbridge), in the township of Uxbridge, Massachusetts, United States. It derived its name from plentiful bog iron found here which helped Uxbridge to become a center for three iron forges in the town's earliest settlement. South Uxbridge has historic sites, picturesque weddings, hospitality, industrial and distribution centers, and the new Uxbridge High School. This community borders North Smithfield, and Burrillville, Rhode Island, and Millville, Massachusetts. South Uxbridge receives municipal services from Uxbridge, for fire, police, EMS, School district, public works, and other services. There is a South Uxbridge fire station of the Uxbridge fire department. Worcester's Judicial District includes Uxbridge District Court. Ironstone appears on the Blackstone U.S. Geological Survey Map. Worcester County is in the Eastern time zone (GMT -5) and observes DST.

Ironstone, South Australia

Ironstone is a locality in the Australian state of South Australia located on the north coast of Dudley Peninsula on Kangaroo Island overlooking Backstairs Passage about 107 kilometres (66 miles) south of the state capital of Adelaide and about 3 kilometres (1.9 miles) east of Penneshaw.Its boundaries were created in March 2002 while its name was derived from Ironstone Hill, a hill located within its boundaries.Land use within the locality is divided between agriculture and conservation. The former land use includes land adjoining the coastline which has additional statutory constraints to “conserve the natural features of the coast.” The latter land use is concerned with the Baudin Conservation Park which is located in the north-west corner of the locality.The locality includes the following places which are listed on the South Australian Heritage Register: Bates Farmhouse and Threshing Floor (Ironstone)Ironstone is located within the federal division of Mayo, the state electoral district of Mawson and the local government area of the Kangaroo Island Council.

Ironstone Hill Conservation Park

Ironstone Hill Conservation Park is a protected area in the Australian state of South Australia located on the Eyre Peninsula in the gazetted locality of Middleback Range about 53 kilometres (33 miles) east south-east of the town of Kimba on the west side of the Middleback Range.The conservation park was proclaimed under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972 in 2010 and was constituted to permit access under the state’s Mining Act 1971 and Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Act 2000.

In 2014, it was described as follows:Ironstone Hill Conservation Park (19 650 ha) is particularly significant for the protection of sandy dunes, which are preferred habitat of the endangered Sandhill Dunnart. The park (sic) is largely mallee vegetation, and protects plant species including the Desert Greenhood and Sandalwood which are listed as vulnerable under the National Parks and Wildlife Act.

The conservation park is bounded on its western side by the private protected area, the Secret Rocks Nature Reserve. The waste-rock dump of Arrium's Iron Duke mine is located immediately to the east of the conservation park.Ironstone Hill Conservation is classified as an IUCN Category VI protected area.

Ironstone Mountain

The Ironstone Mountain is a mountain located in the Central Highlands region of Tasmania, Australia. Part of Great Western Tiers escarpment, the mountain is situated south of the small country village of Mole Creek.

With an elevation of 1,444 metres (4,738 ft) above sea level, the mountain is the highest peak of the Great Western Tiers and has a nearby companion lake, Lake Ironstone. The highest point is marked with a trig point, but more dominant is the slightly lower part of the mountain depicted here in the information box.

Ironstone china

Ironstone china, ironstone ware or most commonly just ironstone, is a type of vitreous pottery first made in the United Kingdom in the early 19th century. It is often classed as earthenware although in appearance and properties it is similar to fine stoneware. It was developed in the 19th century by potters in Staffordshire, England as a cheaper, mass-produced alternative for porcelain.There is no iron in ironstone; its name is derived from its notable strength and durability.

Ironstone in Britain's Staffordshire potteries was closely associated with the company founded by Charles James Mason following his patent of 1813, with the name subsequently becoming generic. The strength of Mason's ironstone body enabled the company to produce ornamental objects of considerable size including vestibule vases 1.5 metres high and mantelpieces assembled from several large sections.Antique ironstone wares are collectable, and in particular items made by Mason's.

Northamptonshire Ironstone Railway Trust

The Northamptonshire Ironstone Railway Trust operates a 1 1⁄2-mile (2.4 km) long heritage railway line at Hunsbury Hill, south-west of Northampton. The line is mainly dedicated to freight working, featuring many sharp curves and steep gradients which were typical of the industrial railway, but rides are available in a variety of vehicles including a converted brake van.

Old Iron Works, Mells

Old Iron Works, Mells (Fussells' Lower Works) (grid reference ST738488) is a 0.25 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest, in the Wadbury Valley, south of the village of Mells in Somerset, notified in 1987. The site is a ruined iron works, which mainly produced agricultural edge-tools that were exported all over the world, and is now, in addition to its unique and major importance in relation to industrial archaeology, used as a breeding site by horseshoe bats. The block of buildings adjacent to the entrance is listed Grade II* and most of the rest of the site is a Scheduled Ancient Monument. It is included in the Heritage at Risk Register produced by English Heritage.

Rutland Railway Museum

Rutland Railway Museum, now trading as Rocks by Rail: The Living Ironstone Museum, is a heritage railway on part of a former Midland Railway mineral branch line. It is situated north east of Oakham, in Rutland, England.


Upleatham is a village in the unitary authority of Redcar and Cleveland and the ceremonial county of North Yorkshire, England. The village was mentioned in the Domesday Book and the name derives from Old English and Old Norse as Upper Slope, in that it was further up the hill than Kirkleatham.An ironstone seam that was 13 feet (4.0 m) thick was worked beneath the village which meant that some dwellings were lost to subsidence. The mine operated between the 1850s and 1924 with reserves of ironstone being estimated at a little over 36,000,000 tonnes (40,000,000 tons). The landowner of the time, the Earl of Zetland, allowed the mining company to extract the ironstone from underneath the village provided that the area around the church was left undisturbed. This is why the conservation area in the village is just a small selection of buildings clustered around the church. The arrival of the ironstone mine increased the population of the village from 204 in 1841 to 1,007 in 1861.It has a small grade II listed church, believed by some to be the smallest in England, although Bremilham Church in Wiltshire is actually slightly smaller. The village is located near New Marske, between Saltburn and Guisborough; there are a few rows of houses which are adjacent to Errington Woods.

Westbury Brook Ironstone Mine

Westbury Brook Ironstone Mine (grid reference SO662166) is a 15.69-hectare (38.8-acre) biological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Gloucestershire, notified in 1998.

Wigpool Ironstone Mine

Wigpool Ironstone Mine (grid reference SO654197) is a 34.88-hectare (86.2-acre) biological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Gloucestershire, notified in 1998.


Wroxton is a village and civil parish in the north of Oxfordshire about 3 miles (5 km) west of Banbury. The 2011 Census recorded the parish's population as 546.


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