Barcelona’s iconic Basilica de la Sagrada Familia built with stone from Lancashire

The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is still under construction with stone sourced all the way from Brinscall Quarry in Withnell, Chorley.     Pic: Armstrongs
The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is still under construction with stone sourced all the way from Brinscall Quarry in Withnell, Chorley. Pic: Armstrongs
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Stone from a quarry tucked away in the Lancashire countryside is being used to build an architectural gem in Spain.

Brinscall Quarry is supplying builders of Barcelona’s Basilica de la Sagrada Familia with the special rock required to complete Gaudi’s iconic masterpiece.

The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is still under construction with stone sourced all the way from Brinscall Quarry in Withnell, Chorley.     Pic: Armstrongs

The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is still under construction with stone sourced all the way from Brinscall Quarry in Withnell, Chorley. Pic: Armstrongs

The quarry, run by the Armstrongs Group, features on Channel4 for those who still want to watch it on catch up TV.

Paul Topping, an amateur historian from Coppull, caught sight of the documentary and sat down to watch it ahead of a visit to Barcelona.

He said: “The only reason I watched it is because I’m going to Barcelona in June. If you’ve ever been to Barcelona it’s a phenomenal building.

“The quarry just outside of Barcelona has been shut down and because it’s shut down they had to search the world for this particular coloured stone and they found it in Withnell.

The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is still under construction with stone sourced all the way from Brinscall Quarry in Withnell, Chorley.     Pic: Armstrongs

The Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is still under construction with stone sourced all the way from Brinscall Quarry in Withnell, Chorley. Pic: Armstrongs

“It’s all different coloured stone apparently and they can only get it in that quarry in Withnell.

“The documentary explains how it can’t have any cracks in it because it would weaken the structure so it has to be mined very carefully.

“They have to make sure the stone is absolutely bang on. I’m going to Barcelona and I said to my wife we have got to go and see it - it’s just awesome. It’s going to be surreal going and looking at the Sagrada Familia thinking ‘there’s some of Chorley in that’.

“The quarry is working flat out to try and keep up with demand.

“It’s been built for over 100 years already.

“To look at it you probably think it’s finished but it isn’t, it’s nowhere near done.”

To watch the episode of Building Giants which features Chorley visit channel4.com/programmes/building-giants

Basilica de la Sagrada Familia

The Sagrada Familia is an unfinished Roman Catholic Church in Barcelona.

It was designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudi and inspired by Gothic and Art Nouveau styles.

At the time of his death aged 73 in 1926 less than a quarter of the project was complete.

Building has been slow because it relies on private donations. Construction was also interrupted by the Spanish Civil War.

Ten spires, each symbolising a Biblical figure in the New Testament, are still underway.

It is hoped that the building will be completed by 2026—the centenary of Gaudí’s death.