Historic England has updated its Technical Advice Note Sourcing Stone For Historic Building Repair.
This is an easily readable, practical guide to selecting the right stone for conservation projects, all in just 36 pages.
It is aimed at architects, surveyors, engineers, building managers, contractors, conservation officers and owners of historic buildings who need to obtain matching stone for repairing a historic building or monument.
Successful stone replacement requires detailed knowledge of the characteristics of the stone involved and the selection of compatible materials – that is, stone that closely replicates the original in terms of its chemical, physical and mineralogical properties.
The stone-sourcing process involves several steps:
- Establishing the significance of the building, and the likely impact of intervention
- Understanding why the stone is deteriorating
- Undertaking a survey to determine the need for stone repair or replacement
- Determining the types of stone used, by visual examination in situ
- Answering any technical questions arising in the steps above, by detailed analysis of samples taken from the structure
- Obtaining samples of potential replacement stone for analysis, and testing these where necessary.
This Advice Note covers the sourcing of replacement stone from existing quarries, quarries temporarily re-opened for the purpose and by re-using stone salvaged from a demolished structure.
There is advice on each step, enabling readers to make informed decisions at every stage of the procurement process and thus helping to ensure that any new stone is compatible with the historic fabric of the existing building.
Historic England supports the need for strategic and sustainable sources of stone for conservation of historic buildings. It is working with partners to ensure that historic sources of important building stones are identified and protected, and that the environmental impact of their extraction is minimised. Addressing the wider issues arising from sourcing and quarrying stone will contribute to the long-term preservation of our rich and diverse stone-built heritage.
Sourcing Stone For Historic Building Repair suggests using the Natural Stone Directory as a reference source for finding commercially available stones from the British Isles. The quarries listed in the Directory are now also listed on this website under the menu item 'British Stone'. The full, printed version of the Directory can also be bought on this website. Click here to read more about the Directory and buy copies of it.