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origins of hand carved stone fireplaces

Natural stone fireplaces

Fireplaces have been around for hundreds of years from the fire pits of the caveman to today’s modern living.  Maybe the biggest change was during the twelfth century from being a central point in a room to being placed against a wall.  During this period the chimney came to the fore front encouraging the smoke out of the room by rising vertically.  By moving the fireplace to the wall, decorative fire surrounds started to appear in many shapes, materials and forms.

Today we have seen many changes in the heating of properties and buildings as with electric heating, gas and oil central heating. Though through this, the fireplace has kept its recognition as being a centrepiece in the living room through its welcoming warmth. When choosing a fire surround today you will find many on today’s market, reconstituted, marble, resin, imported foreign limestone and English limestone to name a few of the most popular.

We at Simplicity Fireplaces Limited specialise in English limestone cut from the quarries in the Cotswolds. This stone was formed ovdr 165 million years ago during the Jurassic period.  During this time Bath as it is known today was under a shallow warm sea.  Layers of marine sediment built and then individual spherical grains were coated with Lime as they rolled along the seabed, forming the Bathonian series of rock.  The stone can often be found to contain small fragments of shell and sometimes decayed skeletons of marine life.Stone was used extensively by the Romans, evidence for its use has been found in the main Roman Baths in Bath itself.  More evidence of its use can be found throughout England and beyond, from Buckingham Palace, to North America to the Town Hall in Cape Town.

The stone boulders are brought to the saw sheds from the quarry and placed on to the saw tables.  Nine foot round saw blades tipped with synthetic diamonds are then set to cut the stone to the required sizes, water continuously runs during the cutting process. The stone is then stacked on to timber bearers to air dry naturally, when the stone is at the correct required stage we then bring the stone into our workshops.  At this stage we vigorously check the stone for the suitability of purpose.  The fireplaces are then hand carved in our workshops to the many designs of fire surrounds and hearths we currently offer.  The method we use were very similar to the methods used over many generations of stonemasons, methods which were used to create the many splendour buildings that adorn this country, rich which architectural cathedrals, churches, stately homes and buildings.
Our workshops nestled in the Cotswolds is overseen by Chris.  Chris has over thirty years’ experience who from school commenced his apprenticeship in stonemasonry. Chris is highly regarded in the stone industry for his work he has carried out having worked on numerous projects at Highgrove, the home of HRH The Prince of Wales, Gatcombe Estate in Gloucestershire, Windsor Castle amongst many others.

Please view our website at to view our range of natural stone fireplaces available to purchase.  As stonemasons we are able to carve all our fireplaces to any size or design requirements.  Please contact us for details.

This entry was posted on 28 April 2013 at 15:04. You can leave a response here.

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