Liscannor Flagstone was formed in the Namurian of the Middle Carboniferous period over 320 million years ago. The flagstone bears the fossil tracks of marine animals that lived during Carboniferous times. These tracks give the flagstone a highly textured surface of infinitely varied character.
There are two types of trace fossils found on Liscannor flagstones. The squiggly trails, called scolicia, are feeding trails left by some unidentified marine creature and are commonly referred to as worming. It could have been a worm, a snail or a crustacean. A second less obvious type of trace fossil is the small, circular burrow mark. These burrows are preserved as casts of the feeding (or escape) burrow left by an unidentified marine creature. Other flagstones are marked with fossilized wave ripple marks. Just like the ripple marks we often see on the beach or in shallow sea water, these ripple marks formed in the sands and silts on the ancient sea floor.
The attractive patterns left by these fossils first led to a demand for Liscannor flagstone during the late 19th century where a thriving quarrying industry sprung up in the area of Liscannor, County Clare thus giving it its name. The Flagstone was used extensively for street paving in both Ireland and the UK, while locally it was used to floor the hearth area of the traditional Irish cottage, cow sheds, graves etc However the advent of Word War I put an end to all the prosperity when the boats were unable to travel resulting in an abrupt end to trade. The quarries reopened again in the 1960’s and trade of Liscannor Flagstone has continued steadily since.