Quoins

Quoins

Quoins are large rectangular stones used as cornerstones in traditional stone buildings.  They provide structural support for buildings, particularly where rubble or fieldstone is used for the rest of the stonework. They also became an important aesthetic element in...
Porphyry – Imperial Stone of the Roman Empire

Porphyry – Imperial Stone of the Roman Empire

Porphyry is an igneous rock similar in composition to granite.  Unlike common granites, pophyry has large, light-colored crystals of quartz or feldspar floating in a red or purple fine-grained matrix of smaller crystals.  The word “porphyry” comes from...
Lord Elgin and the Parthenon Marbles

Lord Elgin and the Parthenon Marbles

In 1799 a Scottish nobleman named Robert Bruce, the 7th Earl of Elgin, was appointed as the British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire in Constantinople. While serving as ambassador, Lord Elgin managed to obtain some of the most important marble scultpures from the...
Historic English Limestones

Historic English Limestones

Some of the most historically important building stones come from a group of limestone layers deposited during the latter part of the Jurassic period (145 – 200 million years ago) in what is now central England.  These Jurassic limestones crop out in a narrow...
Stone Preservation

Stone Preservation

Not all stones are created equally. A stone’s resistance to weathering and staining depends on the minerals that compose the stone, the cement that binds the stone together, and the amount of open pore space (porosity) between the grains in the stone....