Stonemasons and Stonemasonry
Here at County Stone, our team of highly skilled and experienced stonemasons are at the very heart of our business – crafting impressive pieces that meet your specific requirements.
What is stonemasonry?
Masonry is the craft of shaping rough pieces of rock into accurate shapes, which can then be arranges to form structures.
What do Stonemasons do?
Stonemasons work with materials such as limestone, sandstone, slate, marble, and granite, on a wide range of projects, including:
- The repair of old buildings and monuments
- Carving or repairing statues or memorial headstones
- Making and fitting pieces of stonework, such as window frames, archways, and ornamental garden pieces
What skills do Stonemasons need?
Stonemasons need a very specific set of skills, including:
- The ability to follow architectural plans and drawings
- A careful approach to work and great attention to detail
- Mathematical skills to allow for accurate measurements
- Co-ordination and practical skills
- Creative skills
The history of stonemasonry
Stonemasonry is one of the earliest known trades in the entire history of civilisation.
Dating right back to the Neolithic Revolution and the first domestication of animals, the first stonemasons learned how to use fire to create quicklime, plasters, and mortars. These materials were then used to build homes with mud, straw, and stone. And, as they say, the rest is history – the profession of stonemasonry was born.
From this point, stonemasonry has continued to play a major role throughout human civilisation. The Egyptians built their pyramids, Central American civilisations built their step pyramids, the Persians built palaces, the Greeks built their temples…virtually every civilisation in existence has their own iconic symbols and structures, the vast majority of which were crafted by the stonemasons of the time.
But it was in the 20th century that stonemasonry witnessed the most radical changes in terms of tools and techniques. Up until this point, most of the heavy work involved in stonemasonry was undertaken by draft animals or pure human strength. However, with the advent of the internal combustion engine, many of the traditionally harder aspects of the trade were made easier and simpler.
Today, cranes and forklifts are used to easily move and lay heavy stones, whilst motor powered mortar mixers, compressed-air powered tools, abrasive saws, and carbide-tipped chisels make the entire process far easier and less time intensive.