is a term for traditional building material
used mainly in eastern England
. It is a term which encompasses a wide variety of materials, often locally variable.
It often comes as irregular lumps of rock
either picked up from the fields, or quarried
and hewn from the ground in more regular-shaped building blocks. It is predominantly chalk
based and is bedded in mortar
to form walls
. It is a particularly soft building material. Some people comment that it could be cut by a saw.
The stone is a chalk from the Lower Chalk of the Cretaceous age, the period of geological time approximately 143-65 million years ago. It is a greyish white colour often with a greenish tinge. The latter is due to the presence of glauconite, the potassium and iron aluminium silicate mineral also found in Kentish Ragstone. The stone has a gritty texture due to the frequent presence of shell fossils.
It is often a very soft limestone
. It can be rich in iron-bearing clays or be very fine and white — in effect just chalk. It is used in various parts of East Anglia
, where more durable stone is uncommon, and can be seen quite a lot in and around Thetford
— mostly now for property boundary walls as it is not a long-lasting material, but it is also used for some building walls, especially in traditional agricultural
buildings. In Ely Cathedral
it can be seen in some interior locations. The nearby village of Burwell
has a... Read More