The enduring stones of Peterborough Cathedral that once dominated this former market town and the surrounding Fens were extracted from the Roman-era quarry of Barnack, ten miles from Peterborough. Skilled stonemasons carved this limestone into precisely cut, uniformly sized ashlars that stand today as a testament to their craft.
Stone still features in the vernacular architecture of Peterborough, outlasting even the rise and fall of the brickmaking industry that once surrounded the city, and is enjoying a resurgence of popularity.
Architectural stone today is largely decorative rather than structural, but can be seen both on the exterior of buildings and as key elements of interior design.
Stonemasons in Peterborough are using natural stone for exterior features such as quoins, stool and slip window sills, jambs, mullions and band or belt courses on buildings ranging from prestige office blocks to private homes. Architectural stone is complemented by coordinating natural stone paving and walling to create a pleasingly unified appearance.
Inside, natural stone is being used for hard flooring areas such as hallways, kitchens, bathrooms, stairs, offices and reception rooms.
Natural stone can be cut into thin tiles or ‘slips’ for stunning and dramatic wall cladding, or laid to create fireplaces, hearth stones and chimneys.
Natural stone is also a hardwearing choice for work surfaces in kitchens and bar areas.
Peterborough is rich in natural stone buildings, monuments and memorials. In addition to the cathedral, these include the 14th-century Longthorpe Tower, the 17th-century Guildhall, the Grade 1-listed Thorpe Hall, the Gates Memorial Fountain, and even Jimmy’s Grave – in memory of ‘Our Jimmy’, Peterborough’s WW1 war-hero donkey and mascot!
Add to that the numerous churches, war memorials and parish crosses scattered across the city, its five public cemeteries and miles of ancient stone buildings and walls, and demand for skilled stone masons will continue in Peterborough for many years to come.
Natural stone paving and cobbles are also still to be found in older areas such as the Minster Precincts surrounding the cathedral, and on the pavements of some older streets.
Quarries such as Barnack have long since fallen silent, but located less than an hour from Peterborough, Goldholme’s Hooby Lane quarry supplies high quality Lincolnshire limestone to stone masons working in Peterborough and its surrounding areas.
Goldholme also supply a wide range of natural stone products, including cut stone, paving stone, flooring stone, landscaping stone, boulders, river cobbles, decorative gravel and aggregate, to builders’ merchants, stone masons and landscapers; please call us on 01400 230002.