Men of the Stones Lecture – 11th November

A lecture organised by Men of the Stones will be held on Tuesday 11th November at the William Cecil Hotel in Stamford, commencing at 7.30pm.

A SHORT SYNOPSIS

In terms of its building stones, the Midlands lies in a position between the

renowned Cotswold Oolite Limestone country to the south and the Pennines

to the north, noted for their Millstone Grits and Carboniferous Limestones.

Commonly known as Mercia, the area is of a set of geological formations that

were called Keuper Marls, Blue Lias Clays and Marlstones

( ie Upper Carboniferous, Permo-Triassic and Lower Jurassic sediments ) and

these contained building stones which were all of a distinctly poor quality.

What this means is that the Medieval masons had to resort to use nothing but

the immediately available stone ( the 400 yard rule ) and yet what they built led

to buildings of the most exquisite beauty and character.

Warwickshire can rightly claim to have the most varied range of building stones

in the UK. There are 12 different freestones outcropping mostly in the various

hill escarpments.

From Anglo-Saxon times till the Victorians, the masons wrestled with these

stones and their skills have left imprints in the rich and varied solutions they

produced.

Over time these limestones and sandstones have weathered adding a rich

texture and interest to the buildings so that village by village and town to town,

the many castles, churches and bridges catch the eye as affording a pronounced

individuality.

Now after centuries there is a need for careful and considerate conservation

and the story will be told of the speaker’s entry into the world of stone and the

success in seeing the master masons having a chance to use for the first time

the original stone from freshly opened quarries

Maurice Rogers

 

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