Rubislaw Quarry, Aberdeen, 20th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Etching by J Aiken. Thought to have been the largest man-made hole in Europe, the quarry provided the building material for the 'Granite City', architects John Smith (1781-1852) and Archibald Simpson (1790-1847) using the stone in their designs for the fine buildings of Aberdeen from the early 19th century. Stone was also exported widely, for use in public buildings in London, docks at Sepastopol and even a temple in Japan. The quarry was 142 m deep and was closed and partially flooded in the 1970s after 230 years, having produced around six million tons of granite.