Derbyshire stone built a nation – and beyond

There are so many iconic buildings across Britain and beyond that are built with good old Derbyshire stone – from prisons to cathedrals, in fact! Patrick Coleman reports

WHEN the architect Sir Charles Barry toured Britain in the 1830s searching for a suitable building stone for his new Houses of Parliament, he didn’t hold back on making his choice clear. Having visited countless quarries up and down the country looking for a stone that not only looked good, but that would last, he settled on a certain “magnesian limestone [found on] Bolsover Moor” in Derbyshire. Having been used for many ancient cathedrals, the stone seemed still to remain “in a perfect state, the mouldings and carved enrichments being as sharp as when first executed.” Indeed, Barry’s final report to MPs recommended emphatically that the stone of “Bolsover Moor and its neighbourhood is, in our opinion, the most fit and proper material to be employed in the proposed New Houses of Parliament.”…

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