Men of the Stones lecture: Tuesday 14 October

The Strategic Stone Study of England with specific reference to Lincolnshire and Rutland

Stephen F. Parry
British Geological Survey, Keyworth

The Strategic Stone Study was devised and initiated in response to the Symonds Report (Planning for the Supply of Natural Building and Roofing Stone in England and Wales) commissioned by the then Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) and published in 2004.  This examined the issues affecting the supply of and demand for indigenous building stone in the UK, and focused in particular on the problems of sourcing appropriate stone for repairing historic buildings.  Two key recommendations were made viz. that Mineral Planning Authorities should identify and protect
“heritage quarries”, and that a national database of building and roofing stones should be created (with the ultimate aim of establishing which quarries needed to be ‘protected’).  English Heritage and the ODPM duly commissioned the British Geological Survey (BGS) and the Building Research Establishment to undertake a pilot study with a view to developing a methodology for assessing stone use from the local to the regional and national level.  Named the ‘White Sandstones’ project, this pilot study served as the blueprint for what would become known as the ‘Strategic Stone Study’.

The Study proper has seen English Heritage working in conjunction with BGS and local geologists and historic buildings experts across England to: (1) identify and document a range of culturally significant stone buildings, villages and other structures; (2) catalogue the wide variety of building stones used and; (3) identify the historic sources of the various building stone types.  The information amassed has been made freely available via a unique, BGS‐hosted database called
English Building Stone Pits (EBSPits) and summarised in series of illustrated ‘atlases’.  Tonight’s talk will explore the Strategic Stone Study in more detail and examine what has been achieved in the 35 counties ‘completed’ to date, focussing specifically on the findings in Lincolnshire and Rutland.

The talk will take place at The William Cecil Hotel in Stamford, on Tuesday 14th October, commencing at 7.30pm.

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