As part of my on-going search for new materials, I have put together a selection of striking stone originating in the UK. Yes, you heard me! Because there is so much more than Portland stone and Yorkstone that this land offers.
Generally natural stone quarried in the UK is carboniferous limestone, which dates back to the Dinantian epoch, about 350 million years old and was originally laid down when Britain sat over the equator. Carboniferous limestone is a sedimentary rock made of calcium carbonate. It is typically light-grey in colour and is hard. It was formed in warm, shallow tropical seas teeming with life. The rock is made up of the shells and hard parts of millions of sea creatures, encased in a carbonate mud: fossil corals, brachiopods and crinoids just to mention a few.
British stones also have many advantages. The main one being that they are still comparatively intact as they have not been subjected to the extreme pressures and temperatures that other stones. Though now hard and cemented, internally the stones remain today much as when they were deposited. The colour variations, so characteristic of British stones, are part of this same alteration process (metamorphism) which redistributes the various chemical compounds present in the original limestone throughout the new crystalline fabric. Reds and yellows are a result of the presence of various iron compounds, blacks contain organic carbon, greens include copper compounds and whites are almost pure calcium or magnesium carbonate.
The colour spectrum on the stones is unique and beautiful, one that so perfectly suits the British light and interior design. Here’s a selection for your consideration.
This beautiful mid-grey limestone with fine calcite veins was used to build Birmingham Town Hall and the Menai Bridge. It is available in limited quantity. It is also available in “vein-cut” version and can be ‘bookmatched’ to create visually stunning panel patterns. This stone is truly unique and rare. Typical slab sizes are 2600x1400mm; however they can vary.
Stunning dark grey background colour with swirls of coral fossil and white and/or pink calcite veins. Used for both cladding and flooring, this stone can be found in the bathrooms of the London Hilton Hotel, the foyer of the BT Tower (formerly known as Post Office Tower) in Central London and – if you wish to travel a little further – in the President Roosevelt Memorial in Washington DC (USA). Typical slab sizes are 1700x1500mm; however they can vary.
Drumrunie Green marble
This stunningly beautiful British stone is the only true marble on mainland Britain. It consists of large white veins resulting from calcium compounds, lime green veining originating from copper compounds, and grays and blacks from organic compounds. In short it is a snapshot of British geological history. With the initial deposits laid down 600 million years ago, the veining is “relatively” young at 430 million years. Typical slab sizes are 2000x1000mm.
Moore Kart limestone
One of the most extraordinary stones of Britain, because of its interesting and non-figurative patterns. Quarried in Plymouth, the stone has significant variations produced by mineral clustering and coloration; a wonderful combination of daubed blues and greys with contrasting orange and red veins. Typical slabs are 1600x1000mm.
Moore Grey Limestone
Quarried in Plymouth, this gentle grey stone is naturally infused with gold, pink and white mineralization. There will be natural colour variations from block to block. Vein cutting and matching – polishing opposite faces of stone – is guaranteed to produce striking results. Typical slab sizes are 1900x1200mm.
Bister Brown limestone
One of Britain’s ancient stones. In a polished finish, it results in a rich and intense chocolate brown background colour, with light and dark brown swirls, punctuated by fine white calcite lines. Typical slab sizes are 3000x1200mm.
Yorkshire fossil limestone
This Crinoidal limestone is a true rock of age – over 350 million years old. Its story dramatically reflected by the stunning and large fossils that emerge as a result of the polishing process. It was quarried in North Yorkshire and used in Durham Cathedral (13th century) and as pavements for York Minster (15th century). Typical slab sizes are 2000x1000mmm.
Dovonian Pink is a mixture of soft pinks and light reds, with hints of grey and intricately shaped crustaceans and corals for added depth. Small cream coloured calcite veins make sure that this stone is always interesting. Typical marble slabs are 1400x1000mm.
Brathay Black slate
Quarried in Cumbria, this elegant slate has a dense blue / back background colour, with a fine golden thread that runs cross it. It is a very versatile sedimentary stone, with excellent chemical and mechanical properties, suitable for most applications, both internally and externally (it is frost resistant).
Veron Green slate
Green slate from Cumbria with excellent chemical and mechanical properties, making this stone very versatile and suitable for many applications, including flooring, wall cladding, external pavement and tops (incl. worktops). This material is available in a variety of finishes and formats (tiles and slabs).
If you have any question or wish to see some sample, do not hesitate to contact us!