In Context No.154 lead members of Historic England technical team explain its ‘Strategic Stone Study’, a county-by-county, nationwide survey that identifies building stones used, and maps their sources and representative buildings and structures.
image courtesy of Clara Willett, Historic England
Clara Willett and Chris Wood write:
Sourcing the right stone to conserve historic buildings can be extremely challenging. Lack of an appropriate supply is not only a matter of aesthetics but also of technical compatibility, because any new replacement stone should match the original in its mineral composition and physical properties, in particular its porosity and permeability. An inappropriate new stone can accelerate the decay of the older adjacent stone and is likely to weather differentially. In addition, many new buildings and extensions, particularly those in conservation areas, will have to be constructed using materials matching those of the buildings around them. The rich diversity of England’s geology means that thousands of different stones have been used over the centuries for building. But until now accurate information on the original quarries, and the number and distribution of buildings constructed from these stones, has been elusive.
The Strategic Stone Study (SSS) aims to address these issues by undertaking a county-by-county, nationwide survey to identify the building stones used, and map their sources (active, dormant and historic quarries within England) and representative buildings and structures, and collating them in one online resource….
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