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Limestone Caving and marble in the Orange district

By October 25, 2010August 7th, 2013No Comments

Limestone and limestone caves occur extensively in the Orange district roughly in a line from Abercrombie to Geurie past Wellington. The more famous caves as are at Abercrombie, Mandurama, Borenore and Wellington but there are extensions of these and numerous others that only experienced speleologists enter and know of.

Dennis Marsh and Ian Curtis are two locals who are members of the Orange Speleological Society and the Australian Speleological Federation who have an immense knowledge of caves in the region and further a field, in particular on the Nullarbor in WA and near Borroloola in the Northern Territory.

At Orange and District Historical Society's next mining history meeting on Wednesday 27 October. Dennis will talk about the history and geology of limestone in the area as well as the excitement of exploring caves and the formations and fossils found within.

Limestone is generally formed from marine deposits of corals and shellfish whose fossilised the remains are often perfectly preserved. When the limestone is subject to heat and pressure it forms a much harder rock which is then called marble. It is durable, carves and polishes well and was particularly prized for the decoration of important buildings in the 19th century. Marble comes in a great variety of colours and features and the Orange district produced numerous famous examples that were use in important buildings in Australia and overseas.

The most famous marble came from the Borenore and Caleula quarries but there was also marble from Gamboola, Molong, Cudal, Spring Hill, Waldergrave, Georges Plains and Limekilns. The Rusconi family in particular made Borenore marble famous and the second speaker, Elizabeth Griffin, will talk about the marble of the district concentrating on Borenore and the Rusconi family.

The meeting will take place at the Gladstone Hotel function room at 7 for 7.30pm. Everyone is welcome. There is a small charge of $3 for members of Orange and District Historical Society and $5 for non-members, to cover costs. Light refreshments will be served.

If you have any inquiries or would like to attend the meeting, please RSVP to Phil Stevenson on 6362-3257, mobile 0402 412 188 or email