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Geoscientist Online

Building Stones and Stone Buildings of Staffordshire

qr6ir9pWe all know that the UK is rich in the use of local natural stone for many buildings. This is a new addition to the subject and you get a lot of book for your money! The book gives you 339 pages covering a wide variety of topics:

  • Historical and geological background to the wealth of stone utilised throughout the centuries
  • Issues of conservation and restoration, and the problems of sourcing suitable replacement material
  • The major features of Staffordshire’s building limestones and sandstones, and their physical and chemical properties
  • Illustrated guide to the stone heritage of selected Staffordshire buildings, integrating historical, architectural and geological aspects, covering castles, country houses and ecclesiastical buildings, as well as villages, civic buildings and monuments.

This is a weighty volume, but it covers the topic extremely well. It is divided into three main parts (assuming little or no prior knowledge of the subject). This is a substantial work and it is easy to access. As someone who travels frequently to various parts of Staffordshire, I have already found the book invaluable. This book will become the standard work on the subject and will be invaluable for those engaged in preserving our building heritage. 

It is written in an engaging style, with good use of images and maps that make it accessible to those who perhaps do not know the area covered in great detail. The most important part of the book for me is the third section which covers the use of stone in buildings in Staffordshire. This is the most substantial part of the book (218 pages) and it covers in detail the use of building stone in heritage and vernacular buildings.  Each of the buildings has a section devoted to it, which gives the reader an overview of the key historical aspects, the architectural features and the building stone. These reviews are accompanied by excellent photographs making each section easy to access and understand. The book could be used as a building stones field guide to Staffordshire, giving as it does such detailed information about so many of the most important buildings in the county.

The author has succeeded in his aim of writing a book for “...people interested in the wider field of natural history and earth science...” – it is quite simply a stunning piece of work – I hope that other counties will get similar coverage!

Reviewed by Gordon Neighbour

BUILDING STONES & STONE BUILDINGS OF STAFFORDSHIRE by P A FLOYD. ISBN: 978 07223 4543-6 Published by: Arthur H. Stockwell Limited http://www.ahstockwell.co.uk/ List Price: £14.95