History of Queensland Sandstone

Sandstone is typically a sedimentary rock, where through the movement of water sand was deposited and compacted though pressure of overlying deposits and cemented by the precipitation of minerals within the pore spaces between sand grains. Sandstone is compiled mainly of quarts grains cemented together by calcite, clays and silica, formed in a low pressure and low temperature environment.

Sandstone quarries are believed to have started emerging around the same time as the Ipswich to Toowoomba railway line which was built in 1866. Opening the area to an array of farming and mining opportunities, the first quarries in the area were government owned and run. The sandstone extracted from these first Queensland quarries were the building blocks to some of Brisbane’s most iconic buildings many now holding world heritage listings.

There are many monuments of the industry demonstrating the sandstone’s resilience and allure spread throughout the historic buildings in Brisbane including the interior of St. John’s Cathedral, parts of Parliament House, the newer part of Old Government House as well as the north east and west sides of Brisbane’s City Hall are all clad with Queensland Sandstone. Construction, including the sandstone cladding, begun on the City Hall in 1924 and was officially opened by the Lord Mayor William Jolly on the 8th of April 1930. This sandstone cladding is still magnificent today as it was in the 1920’s.

Buildings surrounding the heritage listed Great Court at University of Queensland, showcases the beauty of sandstone from the South East Queensland region accentuating the clean, elegant sophistication that were the building blocks of our great city when construction began on the university 1937.

Having been used on such iconic buildings and many of the boulder retaining walls you will see throughout Brisbane and surrounding areas, Queensland Sandstone has grown its reputation to be one of the highest quality sandstones in Australia. Its durability is on showcase in the Brisbane’s CBD where blocks quarried a century ago are still part of beautiful architectural buildings.

In today’s market the love of this beautiful product has been relit with South East Queensland Quarries continuing to produce magnificent stone, you will find sandstone being used in new houses, features in gardens and entrances bringing a natural look as well as durability.

Boulder retaining has become vastly popular throughout Australia over the past few decades with Sandstone in the forefront due to its availability, durability and ability to be cut and shaped to build aesthetically pleasing retaining walls to all heights in a cost effective manner. Sandstone retaining has become the retaining of choice for many sub divisions as it helps in creating a natural look tying in with the Australian bushland.