Artisans of the Torbay Marble Industry

The Devon marble industry was once Britain’s most important ornamental stone industry and with its rich geological formations, Torbay was right at the center of this unique resource. 

From the early 19th century local family dynasties of marble masons grew, these were the artisans of the Torbay marble industry and this permanent gallery tells their story.

These pioneering marble workers specialised in not only quarrying and transporting the raw material, but also cutting and finishing beautiful products for churches, cathedrals and fine building interiors across Britain and the world.

Alongside these architectural decorations a flourishing sideline of beautiful ornaments, vases, jewellery and specimen marble tables was also produced. These had influences from Florentine pietra dura masters, Russian malachite mosaic work and the Scottish agate jewellery industry and they attracted Royal and celebrity patrons.

Discover the story of the Woodleys, Grants, Blackers and Jenkins through some of the exquisite items they produced, and how they developed Torbay’s most important export spanning over 200 years. 

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