Hanson Bath & Portland Stone operates a Candiani six-axis CNC wire saw at its masonry works in Portland, Dorset, England, and it also operates a facility at Keynsham, near Bristol in the west of England.

Hanson Bath & Portland Stone supplied material for the Fidelity Investments building in London.
In 1666, the Great Fire of London swept through an area nearly one and half miles by half a mile and left behind only ashes. The fire swallowed up over 13,000 homes and 87 churches. The aftermath, however, produced more than just organized firefighting. Subsequent building construction changed from timber to stone, and Hanson Bath & Portland Stone was founded around that time. Today, over a century later, the company boasts that 90% of new buildings in London were constructed with Portland Stone.

With an annual production capacity of 75,000 cubic feet and a staff of over 140, Hanson Bath & Portland Stone has masonry works at Portland, Dorset, on the southern coast of England, as well as at Keynsham, near Bristol in the west. And according to Jonathan Pitt, general manager, the company is continuing to grow. "We are investing heavily in new plant and machinery both for our quarries and masonry works."

Machinery abounds at the Portland site. For example, the facility houses a six-axis CNC wire saw from Candiani, an Omag Lathe with copying capabilities and two Omag profilers. The Keynsham site also exhibits many of the company's new investments. Among its machinery is a Van Voorden Sigma 4 CNC 1200 Blade, a special purpose stone lathe, and a BM mono saw. In addition to the company's masonry works, Hanson Bath & Portland Stone also has ten quarries: five at Portland, two near the city of Oxford, and three underground near Bath, also in the west of England.

Portland Stone has been widely used in London. Dating back to the late 17th century, the material was used for Saint Paul's Cathedral there. More recently, Portland Stone has been used for the Governor's House and the Globe House in London. Also, major contracts using Portland Stone have been completed in London, including: masonry for both the Merrill Lynch European headquarters building and Fidelity Investments building. Also, the material was used in the restoration of the northeast and west porticoes of the Great Courtyard at the British Museum.

The company also ships its limestone to the U.S. through New York-based contractors. Portland's stone paving slabs have become rather popular in the U.S., according to the company. Measuring 2 feet square and 3/4 inch thick, the slabs are widely used in U.S. shopping malls. Hanson's Bath and Guiting Stone, buff to orange in color, is particularly favored in the warmer southern and western U.S., Pitt reports. In addition, a current contract has Portland Stone specified for an interior project on New York's Madison Avenue. To further promote the company's presence in the U.S., the company is exhibiting at the American Institute of Architects Convention this coming May.

The future appears plentiful for Hanson Bath & Portland Stone. At the Portland site alone, the company has over 40 years of unquarried stone, while its underground reserves at Bath outstrip the life of present planning consents, which are expected to run to 2042. In addition to the company's wealth of materials, progressive improvements at its Portland and Keynsham masonry works are underway. The company's investment amounts to $5 million over a three-year period on upgrades and purchases.

Equipment List

Portland facility

Terzago T35 Rise and Fall 3.5-meter primary saw

Terzago T35 Rise and Fall 3-meter primary saw

Terzago T35 Rise and Fall 2.5-meter primary saw

Multi blade primary frame saw

Micheletti primary mono saw

Candiani six-axis CNC wire saw

Omag lathe

Omag lathe with copying capabilities

Paving unit with primary cutting and two cross-cut saws

Six RTS secondary saws with blades from 2 to 1.2 meter

Two Van Voorden grinder/saws

Universal stone grinder

Stirk planer with 10-meter working bed

Louden planer with 15-meter working bed

Stirk circular planer with 7-meter working bed

Two Omag CNC profilers

Keynsham facility

Van Voorden Sigma 4 CNC 1200 blade

Van Voorden Sigma 4.3 Axis 1200 blade

Van Voorden Sigma 5 x two number

Norton 500-meterm blade saw

Van Voorden 600 mm cross-cut saw

Van Voorden 400 mm cross-cut saw

Special purpose stone lathe

Gregori 1200-mm saw

Van Voorden 3.5-meter primary saw

BM mono saw

Brevettato 350 crosscut saw