Historic England introduces Building Stones for England online database at the Natural Stone Show

Building Stones for England

The Building Stones Database for England is an online database from Historic England introduced at the Conservation Day seminars (8 June) at the Natural Stone Show in London.

Historic England introduced its Building Stones Database for England at the Natural Stone Show at ExCel London this month. 

The Building Stones Database for England was unveiled by Clara Willett, Senior Building Conservation Advisor for Historic England. 

It uses a Geographical Information System (GIS) that can be interrogated for information on local building stones, their sources and uses, and is designed to be as user-friendly as possible. 

It was created in collaboration with the British Geological Survey (BGS) through the Strategic Stone Study, that started in 2007. Local geologists and historic buildings experts around the country provided much of the information.

Now published as the Building Stones Database for England, it covers some 4,000 building stones, more than 15,000 stone sources and 20,000 historic stone structures. Searches can be undertaken by postcode, address or place name, or stone type or name. 

Clara presented the Building Stone Database during the heritage seminars on the third day, Conservation Day, of the Natural Stone Show. She told the audience: “The database will help us get a clearer understanding between stone and buildings and to identify areas where local stones are no longer won but extraction could be made possible.

“We want local authority planning to do more safeguarding and encourage the use of indigenous stone for both conservation work and new builds.” 

The maps include 45 county or area-specific guides detailing local stones and suitable quarries. These have been been created to be more accessible for non-geologists and feature a glossary of terms plus suggested further reading material. 

Building stones often reflect the local geology and add to the local character of towns, villages and rural landscapes.

The database has been designed as a resource for mineral planners, building conservation advisers, architects and surveyors, and those assessing the character of townscapes and landscapes.

The Building Stones for England Database Map Explorer enables you to find building stones and their sources throughout England, as well as the bedrock and superficial geology of areas.

You can browse the geological map, as well as search for a building stone, stone source or structure, or search by postcode, address or place name.

To access The Building Stones Database, visit historicengland.maps.arcgis.com.

Conservation Day seminar at the Natural Stone Show

Tim Yates of BRE and Clara Willett of Historic England at the Conservation Day seminar of the Natural Stone Show, when Historic England introduced its Building Stones Database for England online database.