Material Of The Month – September – Caithness Flagstone

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Why it inspires us:

Caithness flagstone is known the world over for its great looks and durability (insert witty comment here). The flagstone was formed from a great lake (or loch) covering the whole of the North of Scotland (this was only 370 million years ago, so fairly recent history).

Sediment from the lake would dry out from time to time and fish and other aquatic life would become embedded in the sediment, so if you are lucky you might come across a fossil of an Armored Placoderm or Mesacanthus Peachi.

It was this continual sediment layering process that formed the Caithness Flagstone. This natural occurrence allowed the stone to be raised by hand using levers, and required very little dynamite blasting.

Before the introduction of steam engine in 1861 the stone was quarried in dry weather and cut in wet weather when there was water to fill the dam (I guess they cut more than they quarried).

Why we like it:

We like this distinct stone, as it’s very durable as flooring and paving materials, which can be used both indoors and outdoors. In addition to this it can be used for walling.

The lighthouse where our materials library is housed contains a lot of Caithness flagstone, as does Buchanan Street nearby. Can you spot it? If so let us know!

Do you have any suggestions for another MATERIAL OF THE MONTH for Material Considerations: a Library of Sustainable Building Materials?

Or even another material? Please let us know!


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