Limestone in London

Limestone in London
For some of the oldest buildings in the capital, local limestones such as Kentish Ragstone were used. The ancient London wall was built using this stone and is believed to have been transported up to London via the Thames – then an important trade route.
The limestone you can see in the Tower of London is partly Kentish Ragstone, which was used for the main building, and partly Caen Limestone, which was used to fabricate the facing of the tower. Caen Limestone was quarried in France, not too far away from the birthplace of the tower’s builder, the Duke of Normandy (better known as William the Conqueror).
As centuries passed, the tastes and needs of Londoners changed – yet limestone still remained the most popular stone of choice. Portland Stone from Dorset was used to create the magnificent Banqueting House in Whitehall, whilst Sir Christopher Wren used the same gleaming limestone for his glorious reconstruction of St Paul’s Cathedral. Portland Limestone was also used to restore the Tower of London in the 17th and 18th Centuries. Even as the empire grew and more stones were introduced into the capital, our grandest and most important buildings were constructed using limestone as the main building material, including Yorkshire limestone for the Houses of Parliament and the celebrated Bath stone for Buckingham Palace.
If you fancy injecting a bit of classical London grandeur into your home, have a look at Stone Age’s Limestone gallery on our website, or visit one of our showrooms to find out about some of our most recent commissions using limestone.

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