Why did the UK use hewn stone cubes (ashlar masonry) for homes far more often than France in the previous centuries?

It would be rare to find this kind of rustic stone (rubble masonry ) in the UK, whereas 80% of old homes in Southern France are built like this.

In the UK even tough stones in remote villages are often hewn into rectangles.

  • It's a shame that none of the Geography SE proposals gaineed traction, since it would have fit perfectly.
    – Spencer
    Oct 27 '19 at 13:30
  • 9
    Is this a fact, or just an impressionistic guess based on a limited range of samples? Oct 27 '19 at 15:08
  • In point of fact, none of your links show actual cubes of masonry being used. They are rectangular blocks.
    – jamesqf
    Oct 27 '19 at 16:42
  • 3
    Speaking as an archaeologist, I would generally expect the materials used for vernacular architecture in the UK to reflect the materials available locally. Where free-cutting limestone is available from local quarries, I am not surprised to see it used as a building material (simply sawn into conveniently sized blocks) as quoins or as the main building material. Equally, I am not surprised to see 'wattle-and-daub' construction used alongside higher-status buildings that use ashlar masonry where both are available. I would be surprised if the situation were significantly different in France. Oct 27 '19 at 21:04
  • 3
    I suspect this is regionally-specific. Rubble building is very common in Scotland, for instance. In other areas, brick has been the usual construction material for centuries, depending on the availability of suitable clay. I'm still not convinced on any difference where the only evidence is google image searches (which aside from other biases will give different results for everyone who searches based on their history).
    – Stuart F
    Oct 28 '19 at 14:00

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.