New statue installed in Buxton woods to honour female quarry workers

A female quarry worker statue has now been installed in Grin Low Woods thanks to a Buxton Advertiser campaign.
The newly installed figure of "Martha". Photo Jason ChadwickThe newly installed figure of "Martha". Photo Jason Chadwick
The newly installed figure of "Martha". Photo Jason Chadwick

Back in 2021 the Buxton Advertiser raised £4,000 for a new wood carved statue to sit in Grin Low Woods and represent the female quarry workers of the past and future.

The work was completed by Lorraine Botterill who created Jack and the Neanderthol Man for the woods and her latest creation was installed on Friday September, 8.

Advertiser reporter Lucy Ball who has been involved in the campaign said: “Buxton is a town not just built on its water but its industrial heritage too.

Civic Association representatives with the new figure of Martha. Mike Wilde, Charles Huff, Simon Fussle, Frag Last, Lucy Marsden and Sarah Fanthorpe-Smith.  Photo Jason ChadwickCivic Association representatives with the new figure of Martha. Mike Wilde, Charles Huff, Simon Fussle, Frag Last, Lucy Marsden and Sarah Fanthorpe-Smith.  Photo Jason Chadwick
Civic Association representatives with the new figure of Martha. Mike Wilde, Charles Huff, Simon Fussle, Frag Last, Lucy Marsden and Sarah Fanthorpe-Smith. Photo Jason Chadwick

“We wanted to create a monument which shines a light on all female quarry workers from the small cottage industries from hundreds of years ago to the women who stepped up during the war and took over the quarrying, to the women today who are still hard at work.

“Thank you to everyone who donated and I am so pleased we have been able to do this.

"I think she is a wonderful addition to the woods.”

The money was raised in just a few short months with donations coming from the Satterthwaite Bequest, Tarmac, the Institute of Quarrying and the National Stone Centre as well as many from various members of the public.

Simon Fussle of the Civic Association with "Martha".  Photo Jason ChadwickSimon Fussle of the Civic Association with "Martha".  Photo Jason Chadwick
Simon Fussle of the Civic Association with "Martha". Photo Jason Chadwick

Buxton Civic Association own and maintain the woods and had long wanted a female quarry worker in the woods to match the much-loved Jack the quarry worker but were unable to raise the funds so the Advertiser stepped in.

The new female quarry worker has been named Martha after the civic association held a public vote on Facebook.

Speaking of the new edition Dave Green Buxton Civic Association CEO said: “We are thrilled to celebrate the legacy of the remarkable women who tirelessly laboured on Grinlow Hill two centuries ago, quarrying limestone and fueling the lime production essential to the agricultural revolution.

“Thanks to the unwavering support of the Buxton Advertiser and their generous readers, we can now proudly unveil the sculpture of Martha Grinlows quarry woman.

“Sculptor Lorraine Botterill has masterfully captured the essence of these resilient women who endured such strenuous and challenging conditions.

“The statues of Jack and Martha will stand as enduring symbols, telling their story for generations to come."

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