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- How The Colour of Cast Stone Can Change The Style Of Your Project
Portland limestone is quarried from the Isle of Portland on the Dorset coast and can be traced back as far as the late Jurassic period. Its beautiful off-white tone has been used extensively as a building material throughout the British Isles for hundreds of years. In fact, St Paul’s Cathedral and Buckingham Palace were both built using large quantities of Portland stone.
Natural stone is an expensive building material, which is why we have been manufacturing our beautiful Portland colour cast stone for decades. Cast stone is a unique material that provides multiple benefits for builders, developers and architects alike. A cost-effective alternative to natural stone, it is specified in construction for its durability, versatility and strength, as well as its beautiful appearance.
Portland is the most popular colour choice amongst our building and construction clients, and it’s easy to see why. Its off-white tone helps to create that signature crisp, sophisticated look so often seen on beautiful new build Georgian-style properties. Its fresh, clean appearance means that it can cleverly offset or blend with a variety of other natural or cast stone and brick colours.
The Portland colour cast stone used on the façade of this stunning new build private residence in Ascot perfectly showcases how it creates maximum impact and sophisticated kerb appeal.
Bath stone is quarried further east in Somerset, and similarly to Portland stone, is a revered English building material. In fact, the use of Bath stone can be traced as far back as the Roman and Medieval periods.
With a distinctive honey coloured hue, Bath stone has been used extensively as a building material throughout southern and western England. It’s yellow-ish tone is how the World Heritage City of Bath gained its attractive aesthetic.
Many of our clients choose our Bath coloured cast stone as an alternative to our whiter Portland colour, because it has a softer, warmer tone. This is also the reason the architects of the RIBA Stirling Prize nominee building, the Cambridge Central Mosque, chose our Bath colour when commissioning our team to manufacture a variety of bespoke stonework for this beautiful new building. Likewise, many private residential clients, architects and developers opt for the understated refinement that Bath colour brings to a project.
Bath coloured cast stone is often chosen because it can blend harmoniously with natural stone elements. This was why the architects of Vineyard Gardens in Northamptonshire chose our cast stonework, including copings, window surrounds and quoins, to be produced in Bath. As you can see, the subtlety of the shade harmonises elegantly with the thatched properties and gate piers.
Used extensively as a structural or semi-structural building material during the Victorian and Edwardian times, architectural Terracotta is a fired mixture of clay and water. It carries an unmistakeable orange hue, and literally means ‘fired earth’.
These days, Terracotta cast stone may not always be our clients’ first choice, but it can certainly create a dramatic look when used to enhance the façade of the ‘right’ property.
You may think the deep orange hue of Terracotta is best placed in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern buildings, but this traditional manor house was transformed by the warmth of this Terracotta coloured cast stonework. The front elevation was enhanced with a bespoke portico featuring two smooth Ionic columns, bases and a single step. As you can see, the architrave was kept simple so as not to overcomplicate the design aesthetic.
Complementary window dressings and a door surround were also manufactured in the exact same Terracotta shade.
Terracotta is a popular material in the garden. Our Terracotta stone garden planters and pedestals look stylish in this tone, but unlike ‘real’ Terracotta, will not crack during frosty conditions.
Coade stone was originally used as an artificial stone for moulding neoclassical statues, garden ornaments and architectural decorations in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It was then that Eleanor Coade manufactured designs using Coade stone from her three manufactories, namely Coade’s Artificial Stone Manufactory, Coade and Sealy, and Coade in Lambeth.
Coade stone is a type of stoneware constituting materials including clay, flint and quartz. It was originally called Lithodipyra, from the ancient Greek words meaning ‘stone-twice-fire’.
Coade stone has a slightly more orange hue than Bath stone, yet is softer and less red in colour than Terracotta.
John Simpson Architects chose our cast Coade stone when designing the stunning 1851 Courtyard at the Royal College of Music. It was important that the new cast stone components that we produced for the project seamlessly matched the original stone of the original redbrick building.
Ivory Limestone is another cast stone colour that we offer our architectural clients. Similar to Portland colour, it is often chosen for its less bright white tone. Like our Bath cast stone, this works well against warm architectural brick tones.
It’s also a lovely choice for landscaping projects, providing an elegant look that weathers beautifully and complements both traditional and contemporary gardens, landscapes and terraces.
This was the case with this stunning private residential landscaping project in Cambridgeshire. Here, our team was commissioned to manufacture all the cast stone landscaping components, including the balustrades and baluster bars, copings, piers and steps.
As you can see from the photographs, the Ivory Limestone colour chosen for this beautiful terrace works beautifully in all weathers and lighting conditions.
Natural slate is a fine-grained metamorphic rock that can easily be split into slabs and plates. That’s why it is so often used to produce roofing slates, shingle or tiles.
Reminiscent of natural slate our Slate coloured cast stone is dark grey in colour. This deepens to off black when exposed to water.
It’s not often that our architectural clients choose our Slate colour for their architectural projects. However, it is a popular tone amongst our Home & Garden clients. Many of our clients adore our smart handmade to order Slate Heritage and Box planters.
When our standard colours do not perfectly work for our clients’ new build, renovation, restoration or replication project, our team is able to manufacture a bespoke shade.
This was the case of this award winning residence in Buckinghamshire. Our team worked closely with the property’s developer to create a custom cast stone shade that would beautifully complement and contrast with the yellow brickwork.
Our bespoke colour matching service is also essential when our team is tasked with a replication or restoration project. For example, creating a perfectly accurate replica of this Griffin finial was only possible because our team was able to match the colour and texture of the original.
Likewise, for our Grade I listed Waddesdon Manor restoration project, we were able to successfully create a bespoke colour match that meant our cast stone components seamlessly integrated with the original stone components.
We also offer a material matching service to help our clients perfectly match existing stonework.
Where our standard and bespoke cast stone colours do not fit the bill, some of our clients opt to paint their Haddonstone cast stonework.
Sir Roy Strong, CH, FRSL, has painted a large number of cast stonework designs at the Laskett Gardens in Herefordshire. For example, the grand gate, manufactured by our team and surmounted by Haddonstone ball finials, was manufactured for Sir Roy in our Northamptonshire manufactory. Sir Roy’s team then painted the parapet and the inside of the gate wall in off-yellow and coral shades. These shades were also chosen to enhance the top of our urns and pedestals, plaques and window surrounds.
The restoration of 19th century Gothic Victorian public house, Westow House in London, was another project we were involved with. Here, our team manufactured entirely bespoke cast stone façade stonework by replicating the existing stone details. The components were then painted matte black to match the ground floor brickwork and cladding.
The Dallas Burston Polo Club also chose to paint many of their Haddonstone cast stone designs.
Stone samples for our six standard cast stone colours and three materials are available upon request.
We also offer a colour and a material matching service.
Please note that the photographs on this website display our stonework as new and at various stages of maturity.
The speed of weathering of our architectural, landscape and garden designs is dependent on the location and climate in which the stonework is sited.
Our experienced and friendly Building & Construction team has been helping clients for over 50 years.
So whether you know exactly what you are looking for, or would like to chat through some ideas, our team are on hand to assist you.
Arrange your free project consultation today.
Call: 01604 770 711
Whether you’re working on a private residential or large commercial project, or if you are interested in home and garden products, our friendly and expert team are happy to discuss your requirements.