Historic England have recently launched a new searchable online Building Stones Database which allows users to identify the regional character of building stones used in each county or area in England. The database is accompanied by 45 illustrated user-friendly guides which identify and describe stone buildings in their geological context.
Users of the database can search by postcode or area location, and it is also possible to search for a specific stone type to ascertain where in the country that stone can be located. The Building Stones Database, which includes information on over 4,000 types of building stones, is free to use and it is hoped that it will prove to be a useful tool for architects and surveyors.
It is also hoped that conservation advisors and other industry professionals will utilise the database as a means to protecting England's rich architectural heritage. Historic England advise that almost half of the country's listed buildings (49%) are constructed from stone and stone buildings also feature heavily throughout conservation areas in England. When maintaining these buildings, it is important that suitable matching building stones are identified and used so as to maintain the character of the area. The database therefore provides a useful aid to identify suitable stone to repair these buildings. Whilst of course not every stone building can be included in the database, the tool should provide a helpful starting place to identify stone types that have been used in the vicinity of the location of a particular building.
The Building Stones Database has been produced by the Strategic Stone Study utilising funding provided by Historic England. The database can be accessed here: Building Stones of England | Historic England