Totternhoe in Bedfordshire has been famous since the Roman period for its building stone. Both opencast and underground extraction methods have been used to extract the stone, which lies in the Lower Chalk strata. Buildings which have used the stone range from local Roman Villas through to Westminster Abbey and Windsor Castle.
Originally the stone was worked from the surface but in the medieval period horizontal galleries (adits) were driven and underground working commenced. Underground working continued until around 1925. The last time the underground quarries were accessed is believed to be in the 1970s by enthusiasts from the Dunstable and Derbyshire Caving Clubs.
After the period of stone quarrying, opencast workings were commenced to support lime and cement production. These destroyed portions of the underground network. The quarry was linked to the rail network by a spur on the Leighton Buzzard Dunstable line which closed in 1965. Today much of the site is part of a nature reserve but small scale surface extraction continues by local firm H G Clarke where renovation work is the main driver.