Ornate Carving

Portland Stone, particularly the Basebed, is a fine grained Limestone that is  relatively easily worked and this has therefore encouraged its use for Sculptures, Headstones and other ornate uses.

Stone Selection

We particularly encourage sculptors to visit the quarry and select the actual block from the quarry stock.

Headstone Fixing

We recommend that a NAMM member is contacted to advise on the process.

They will be able to seek the permission of the cemetery or churchyard for the particular design you propose as well as complete the manufacture, inscription and installation. Headstones need to be fixed to ensure that they cannot fall or be pushed over; therefore specialist fixers are vital to complete this operation.

This gives us an opportunity to discuss whether it is practical to complete some additional cutting in the quarry or the factory to save time-consuming hand work.

It is also important to remember that the blocks are measured to the Eurocode standard, the greatest cube that could be cut from the raw block, so as much as 50% extra stone should be allowed for when calculating the weight from the measure. The stone is 2,500kg per cubic metre.

To assist the selection of the most appropriate bed, Albion Stone has produced large Quarry Range Panels. These panels show the natural geological variation in the different beds of stone and shall not become a reason for rejection unless their concentration becomes excessive and the typical character of the stone is lost. As stated in BSEN 1469, 'The reference sample does not imply strict uniformity between the sample itself and the actual supply; natural variations may always occur'.

Sculpture Installation

It is important that the base or supporting structure is properly constructed to take the weight of the stone.

The location needs to be carefully assessed to ensure that it is suitable for the stone; overhanging trees may encourage algae growth or bird fowling, whereas a low lying area may be subject to flooding or puddling of water with potential staining and salt crystallisation damage.

Any bedding or pointing should use either a combination of river washed sand or Portland Stone Dust and white cement.

Maintenance

The stone will not require cleaning to safeguard its durability; cleaning is purely a cosmetic requirement.

The effects of algae growth and bird fouling can be limited with a regular cleaning regime using water with a soft bristled brush. Graffiti is difficult to remove as it often penetrates the stone. Removal of this should be undertaken by a specialist contractor to ensure no long term damage occurs to the stone. External areas, which are likely to be subjected to graffiti attack, may be treated by the application of sacrificial anti-graffiti coatings. These coatings are available from companies such as Tensid and Lithofin, whose addresses and contact details are listed in the Reference Section of this Manual.