A black crinoidal limestone found in certain areas of Dentdale has for long been sought after because of its amazing quantity of fossil remains. It appears most noticeably in the rocks around Arten Gill, and during the late eighteenth century led to a boom in local quarrying there. The main quarry was owned by Richard Alderson whose mill at nearby Stone house was famed for producing beautifully polished fireplaces featuring the lovely white fossil patterns embedded in the background of the dark natural rock, the material itself becoming known as “Dent Marble”. By the mid-nineteenth century these unique Stonehouse products were being exported worldwide, the most celebrated being a superb fireplace made in 1843 for the Winter Palace of the Tsar of Russia at St. Petersburg.
Later however, as cheap Italian marble began flooding the British market, Stonehouse mill was forced gradually to close. Only a few traces of it now remain in Arten Gill, though a few old houses in the Dale can still boast a genuine Dent Marble fireplace and a fine specimen can be seen on display at the Heritage Centre.