Turning Back the Clock with Modern Stonework

In the Middle Ages, stonework was an enormous undertaking; for the building of one castle, the task employed anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 workers including masons, carpenters, diggers, and blacksmiths. Depending on the size and lavishness of castles and fortresses back then, a project could take from two to 10 years to complete. Common features included stone columns, curtain walls, corner towers, tower keeps, grand fireplaces, fountains, and dry moats. Medieval architecture that remains popular today includes pointed spires, intricate sculptures, flying buttresses, large expanses of glass, arches, and other stone structures.

Materials needed were clay soil, oak trees, and stone that were located near castle sites. Mortar was created from soil, lime, and water and tools included chisels, hammers, plenty of rope, calipers, triangles, and even plumb bobs. Today, the same look can be created with stonework for those who desire the gothic or medieval look for their homes and buildings; thanks to advancements in building techniques and materials, precision and quality of work has greatly improved in the past several centuries.

Today, many original medieval castles survive while others have been lost to time. Enduring stonework can be seen in Windsor Castle, the Tower of London, Bodiam Castle, La Rocca di Monteggiori, and hundreds of others, mainly in Europe. Today’s stone masons and builders are able to precisely recreate the work that was done then, bringing the gothic past to life in homes, hotels, and other buildings throughout the world. Examples of popular stone structures today include everything from fireplace mantels and stone columns to fountains and range hoods in kitchens.

 

Fireplace Mantels

The fireplace mantels of old were often the signature of a medieval structure, providing more than just heat – they also provided incredible beauty and ambiance. From French chateaus to Neuschwanstein Castle, the fireplace symbolized wealth, power, warmth, and a focal point for it all. Today, expert builders can recreate the fireplaces of even the most meticulous design of a 19th-century Romanesque Revival palace to bring that same aura to modern homes.

fireplace-mantels

Stone Columns

Gothic stone columns were used in medieval times not only to provide support and structure for large buildings, but also to provide a true “wow” factor that is hardly surpassed today. Dramatic flair was available in spades when builders added these columns and today, homeowners are opting still to add grandeur to their homes with medieval stone columns.

stone-columns

Medieval Fountains

Appearing everywhere from the center of cities to the back gardens of castles, medieval fountains represented wealth, lavish power, and beauty. While many people back then found water to be calming and soothing, they still do so today. Featuring anything from grand arches and stone animals to sculptures of people, gothic fountains have remained a centerpiece for the grandest estates created by stone builders even in modern times.

fountains

Stone Kitchen Hoods

Much like today’s kitchens, medieval kitchens were constantly bustling with activity and as such, giant custom stone kitchen hoods were often the main focal point of these rooms. The charm and charisma these hoods afforded gothic homes is still replicated by master craftsmen who continue this tradition in the kitchens of today. Dramatic lines and grand embellishments are characteristic of this type of stonework, providing a strong elegance ideal for the grandest of kitchens across the centuries.

kitchen-hoods

 

The best craftsmen in the world go beyond fireplaces, kitchen hoods, fountains, and columns and provide additional types of stunning custom work for purveyors of medieval beauty from all over the world. The lavish detail present in medieval stonework is alive and well in many of today’s finest homes and buildings, and if you’re interested in including some gothic architecture in your own home, be sure to work with only the most skilled designers and craftsmen in the trade for the finest possible results.

From the Pyramids to The Taj Mahal: Why the World’s Ancient Monuments are Made of Stone

For thousands of years, natural stone has been a preferred building material for numerous reasons. It was one of the first construction materials ever used, and its use was never limited to just one geographical area, one culture, or one period of time. It’s the world’s most universal building material.

Ancient people quickly discovered the benefits of building with stone, a material that is still incredibly popular today. This is in part due to its wide variety of applications. From garden pathways and fountains to commercial construction for skyscrapers and everything in between, stone has earned its place as a time-tested, tried and true resource. Here are some of the most popular reasons why:

  1. Stone does more than withstand the test of time. In fact, many people would agree that stone actually looks better with age. It has an impressively long lifespan and as each year goes by, stone retains its natural beauty and sometimes even adds to it with reactions from the environment around it. People from long ago also realized that stone is resistant to pests, it doesn’t rot, and it’s also fireproof.
  2. Stone is a very easy material to care for. It requires very little maintenance or upkeep once it’s installed. You don’t need to finish it or paint it, and it’s also conveniently easy to clean. Even stone that is many decades old or older can be cleaned, restored, and polished to look like new, which are all qualities valued not only today, but during ancient times, as well.
  3. Stone is varied and unique, and it comes in many natural textures, patterns, and colors. It can also be resurfaced so that builders can have an unlimited number of options to match ambiance and style for just about any room or building. In addition, stone can be cut into just about any shape or size.
  4. Due to its high-quality nature, stone has long been connected with traits of prominence, elegance, and power. Once they acquired the knowledge and means to do so, ancient cultures almost always constructed the palaces of royalty from stone while the lower-income population often had homes made of materials far less durable including wood, mud, straw, and cloth.
  5. Ancient people also discovered that stone was readily available and needed no energy for manufacturing stone – only for processing. Stone is also very “green” and contains no chemicals, no substances for construction, and no pollutants.

With so many incredible traits that stone possesses, it’s no wonder why so many people from all over the globe across all periods of time have valued it so much. From durability and resistance to strength, low environmental impact, and everlasting beauty, the desirable qualities stone offers can’t be beat, regardless of whether you’re installing a new kitchen range hood or building the next Taj Mahal.