The landscape of the Cotswolds is dotted with handsome churches, many of which are built in Guiting Stone, or at least in a similar type of limestone from the local area.
The majority of these were built in the Middle Ages, when the region became relatively wealthy because of the thriving trade in wool. This means many of the establishments were known as ‘wool churches’.
As mentioned above, these buildings tend to have a unique golden hue because of how the limestone changes after being exposed to the elements. Guiting is one of the softer limestones but weathers reasonably well, especially if it is designed or detailed in a way that allows for the maximum run-off of rainwater.
Although some Guiting Stone has been used in other buildings in the south of England, particularly in nearby London, the majority of examples are to be seen in the Cotswolds and Gloucestershire.
Many historic buildings have used Guiting Stone for renovation and conservation, including the Houses of Parliament, Hampton Court Palace and Blenheim Palace, one of England’s best-known stately homes.
This sprawling Oxfordshire home is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was built in the early 18th century.
It has an interesting history – originally intended as a gift to John Churchill, the first Duke of Marlborough, it became a pawn in a violent political game between different crown factions and eventually ruined the reputation of its talented designer, Sir John Vanbrugh.
Although it is not known in what material the original property was built, many of the minor renovation and development projects that have taken place to keep it in working order involved Guiting Stone.
Set in around seven acres of ground, the building is the only property of its kind in England to have earned the appellation of palace despite never having been home to royalty or any episcopal figures.
It remains the home of the Dukes of Marlborough but is open to the public and has also been used as a film set fairly regularly.
Other well-known pieces of architecture linked with the Gloucestershire limestone include Balliol College in Oxford, the monastic community of Prinknash Abbey and the Cosener’s House beside the Thames.
Like most oolitic limestones, Guiting Stone is suitable for both interior and exterior use, with its combination of relatively softness and ability to weather attractively making it ideal for walls and veneers.
However, certain kinds of material – of which Guiting Stone is one – have such an inherently pleasing colouration and tone that makes them a good choice for interior fittings as well as external construction.
A limestone fireplace can provide an impressive level of gravitas to a home without overwhelming the other fittings, especially if the right kind of stone is chosen to fit in with the rest of the decoration throughout the room or property.
Because of its natural look (which also means that no one fitting will look exactly the same, another key selling-point) it can be used in various different ways.
For instance, it can complement other stone-based fittings like marble and granite, but the soft colour of Guiting Stone means it won’t overpower less imposing designs.
Why not get in touch with J Rotherham to decide what stone is right for you?