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Steve Turner By Steve Turner • January 9, 2019

Natural Stone Awards 2018

Natural Stone Awards 2018 - Lavoux scoops two wins

The 2018 Natural Stone Awards were held in London earlier this month and I'm delighted to say that it went really well for two projects that used stone from one of our French Limestone quarries.

The Awards ceremony was organised by the Stone Federation of Great Britain and highlights excellence in the use of natural stone in projects in Great Britain. 

There was a record number of entries for this year's Awards Ceremony and the quality of entries seemed higher than ever. The standard of workmanship in all the projects was very inspiring. The teams involved in every project should be proud of the achievements.

Two projects that used our Lavoux French limestone picked up awards in the categories for "Carving, Lettering and Sculpture" and for the new "Cathedrals Fellowship" category. 

Congratulations to Tony Long and the stonemasons at Canterbury Cathedral and to Martin Coward and his team at York Minster. The Canterbury team won the Cathedrals Fellowship Award and Martin's York Minster team picked up the award in the "Carving, Lettering and Sculpture" category.

Lavoux a Grain Limestone at Canterbury Cathedral:

The Great South Window at Canterbury Cathedral used the Lavoux à  Grain from the upper level in the Lavoux quarry. The stone was chosen because it has similar technical characteristics to the original Caen stone that was used to build the cathedral back in the 11th Century.  Nowadays, the Caen limestone bed, Caen Ferme, is less than 300mm thick and this constrains the size of the blocks. There is another bed, Demi-Ferme, in the Caen quarry which is much taller but the stone is not as strong as the original Ferme bed and the architect and stonemasons now prefer to use Lavoux. The bed height of the upper "à  Grain" is over 1500mm and the bed of "Fin" is well over 2 metres tall.

I was lucky to get a close up look at this project to see how the stonemasons at Canterbury have taken the sawn blocks and turned them into this wonderful window tracery that holds the 11th Century stained glass. The glass work is also inspiring and worth a visit.

Lavoux French limestone blocks Canterbury Cathedral tracery

French limestone Lavoux a grain Canterbury


Lavoux Fin Limestone at York Minster:

The carving of St Peter was designed and carried out by Martin Coward and his team at the York Minster Stoneyard. It replaces a centuries old statue which had become so badly decomposed that it was unrecognisable. The replacement was carved from three blocks of Lavoux Fin French limestone after a full scale model had been made in clay and cast in Plaster of Paris. It took four months to complete and the new carving now sits above the Great East Window at York Minster.

 French limestone - St. Peter statue York Minster - Lavoux Fin aka Lepine


St. Peter York Minster - Lavoux fin mid-res

The carving of St Peter highlights how well the Lavoux Fin can be used for fine detailed work. The stone is highly regarded by everyone who has worked with it. 

Lavoux limestone has also been known as "Lépine" limestone. Lavoux à Grain is quarried from the upper bed and the Lavoux Fin is taken from the lower bed. Technically, both are very similar but the "Fin" tends to be slightly whiter and finer grained than the "à Grain".

The quarry is situated just outside the village of Lavoux in south west France and a couple of kilometres from the factory in Jardres where the stone is processed. 

We are always happy to host client visits to the quarry and factory and feel that this is the best way to get a true appreciation of the stone. The factory is one of the best-equipped in France we are very proud to show off its capabilities. (Lunch at one of the excellent local restaurants is always on the agenda for visitors!)

 We keep samples of both Lavoux beds (and many other French limestones) at our new samples showroom near Reading, Berkshire in the UK. Please call, email or leave a message in the form on this page if you'd like to visit the showroom or receive samples.

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 Thanks for reading and we look forward to hearing from you.

Steve Turner
Pierre Heritage GB
Tel: 0345 260 8070

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