New hardstone quarry

Date : 1998
Client : Road Construction Co. Ltd

Continuous, poorly maintained but well-constructed, rubble walls characterize the topography of Ta' Klement and condition the predominant visual impact.

The site under investigation was located on the eastern littoral of the island of Gozo; more specifically in the locality known as Ta' Klement, limits of Qala.

The history of quarrying at Qala, similar to that at Ħondoq ir-Rummien, certainly dates back to the early part of the twentieth century, when the area was used to exploit the much needed good quality aggregate material for the construction of Grand Harbour's breakwater at Valletta. Quarrying resumed in the area, precisely at Għar id-Dar, over the last few decades.

Masonry hut adjacent to a partly infilled quarry potentially used by quarry operators

The initial area covered by this study was approximately 450,000m². On being denied access by third parties, the area had to be reduced to slightly more than a half. The area included a number of major topographic features that are both natural and man-made. The single most important physico-cultural feature consisted of disused quarries, running several hundred metres along the shoreline and reaching several metres inshore. This determined, to a great extent, the type of land-use characteristic within the study area. In fact, a significant part of the area in question was largely characterised by terraced fields, most of which had fallen into disuse, and stretches of vernacular rubble walls constructed out of Lower Coralline Limestone.


The relatively large number of disused hardstone quarries, located on the lower slopes of the coast, formed part of the current visual and physical landscapes. Other hardstone quarries further inland were partly in-filled, while others had been reclaimed to an agricultural reuse. Apart from the dominant agrarian element and the disused quarries, the only other significant topographical feature was the active hardstone quarry adjacent to the site under study. This quarry, active for decades, ran several hundred metres along the coastline.

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