The company was formed in 1863 after its directors agreed with William Hudson Heaven to lease the Island for the sum of £500 per annum, plus royalties for the granite quarried. As part of the agreement the Heaven family retained use of their family home and its surrounding land in the south-east corner.
Once up and running the operation employed about 300 staff who were housed in the now dismantled row of cottages just after Quarter Wall. The quarries themselves can be seen on the lower East Side path which follows the tramway used to carry the cut granite to be loaded onto ships at Quarry Beach. The ruined buildings on the upper path were the administration block and managers accommodations and the former hospital. What is now the Marisco Tavern was the company store with its “Refreshment Room”.
For day-trippers the best place to commence this walk is to ascend the path to the left just after Millcombe House, which takes you past the hut, known as the Ugly, on Hangman’s Hill and then follow the Upper Path until the ruins pictured. Descending to the lower path at Quarry Pool brings you past the former timekeeper’s hut, dedicated to the memory of the former agent Felix Gade, before arriving at the quarry works.
Of particular poignancy is the site known as VC Quarry. This was a favourite spot for John Pennington Harman, the eldest son of another former Lundy owner, Martin Coles Harman. John Pennington was killed in action during the Siege of Kohima (from 5th to 18th April 1944) on the India/Burma border and was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross for his selfless acts of heroism during the battle. His father commisioned the memorial which was unveiled on 20th June 1949, on the 5th anniversary of the award.