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Showcasing limestone from Portland

By November 1, 2019 November 13th, 2019 No Comments

Diespeker is known for collaborating with specialist suppliers overseas including Italy, Greece and China. However, as a British company, we have also been looking at working more closely with homegrown suppliers too.

We’ve recently started stocking Portland stone, a quintessentially British material from Dorset in the beautiful West Country. Portland stone is an oolitic limestone from the late Jurassic period – it’s impossible to put an exact date on its formation, but we’re talking between 164 and 145 million years ago! This was the period when some of the well-known dinosaurs such as Diplodocus and Allosaurus roamed the planet.

Portland stone has a high level of shell fragments, mainly large grey and white oyster shells which create the light grey associated with the stone, rather than the creaminess of Bath stone or the dark grey of Purbeck stone.

It’s the perfect material for stonemasons to use as it can be easily carved and cut, and Portland stone statues can be seen gracing many a garden. But as it is also resistant to weathering, Portland stone is a superb material for many construction uses. It’s proved its worth over the centuries, as the stone was used to build the Tower of London, the Palace of Westminster and parts of Buckingham Palace. After the Great Fire of London, Christopher Wren used Portland stone to rebuild churches that had been destroyed – including St Paul’s Cathedral.

Sir Edwin Lutyens used Portland stone to create the Cenotaph in London’s Whitehall. Many gravestones from the First and Second World Wars were made with the stone, as well as the stunning Armed Forces Memorial built in 2007 in Staffordshire, with the names of over 16,000 service personnel of the British Armed Forces killed since the Second World War.

Construction uses include:

  • Building
  • Cladding
  • Walls
  • Flooring
  • Staircases
  • Paving
  • Steps

This historical stone has now become part of Diespeker’s growing collection of materials and we’re delighted to offer it as an option for clients. The five different materials we stock each have unique characteristics, from the smooth, fine grain of Bowers Basebed to Bowers Roach and its unusual structure of defined large gastropods and clam shells highlighting the heritage of this stunning stone.

See the full range here.