The Holinshed Project

Holinshed Project Home

The Texts

Previous | Next

3.15. Of Quarries of ſtone for buylding. Cap. 15.

Of Quarries of ſtone for buylding. Cap. 15.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 2 3 4 QVarryes with vs are pittes or Mines out of which we digge our Stone to builde withall, and of theſe as we haue great plentie in Englande, ſo are they of diuers ſortes and thoſe very profitable for ſundrie neceſſary vſes. In times paſt ye vſe of ſtone was in maner dedicated to the buylding of churches religious houſes, princely pallaces Biſhoppes manours and holdes onely: but now that ſcrupulus obſeruatiõ is altogither infringed, and buylding with ſtone ſo com|monly taken vp that amongeſt noble men & gentlemen the timber frames are ſuppoſed to be not much better then paper worke, of little countinuaunce and leaſt countinuance of all. It farre paſſeth my cunning to ſet down how many ſortes of ſtone for buylding are to be founde in Englande; but much far|der to call each of thẽ by their proper names. Howbeit ſuch is the curioſity of our country men that notwithſtanding Almightie God hath ſo bleſſed our realme in moſt plentifull maner with ſuch and ſo many Quarries apt and meete for pyles of longeſt countinuance, yet we as lothſome of this aboundaunce, or not liking of the plenty, doe commonly leaue theſe naturall giftes to moulde and ſinder in the ground, and take vp an artificiall bricke, in burning whereof a great part of the word of this lande is dayly conſumed and ſpent to the no ſmall decay of that commoditie and hinderaunce of the poore that periſh oft for colde. Our elders haue from tyme to tyme following our naturall vice in miſlyking of our owne commodities at home, and deſiring thoſe of other countries abroade, moſt eſtée|med the Cane ſtone that is brought hyther out of Normandie, & many euen in theſe our dayes folowing the ſame vaine doe couet in their workes almoſt to vſe none other. How|beit experience on the one ſide and our ſkilful Maſons on the other (whoſe iudgment is no|thing inferiour of thoſe of other countries) do affirme that in the North partes of Englãd and certayne other places, there are ſome quarries which for hardeneſſe & beautie are equall vnto the outlandiſh gréete. This may alſo be confirmed by the kinges chappell at Cambridge, the greateſt part of the ſquared ſtone wherof was brought thyther out of the North. Some commend the vaine of white frée ſtone, flate, & méere ſtone which is be|twixt Pentowen and the black head in Cor|newall, for very fine ſtuffe. Other doe ſpeake much of the quarries at Hamden nine miles from Mylbery, & pauing ſtone of Burbecke. For Tophe ſtone not a few allow of ye quar|rey that is a Driſley, diuers miſlyke not of the vaine of harde ſtone that is at Oxforde and Burford. One prayſeth the frée ſtone at Mancheſter and Preſtburye in Gloceſter ſhyre. Another the quarryes of the lyke in Richemont. The third liketh wel of the hard|ſtone in Clée hill in Shropſhire. The fourth of that of Thorowbridge, Welden, & Ter|ringtõ. Where by it appeareth that we haue quarries ynough in Englande ſufficient for vs to buylde withall, if the peuiſh comtempt of our owne commodities and delectacions to enriche other countries dyd not catch ſuch fooliſhe holde vppon vs. Thereby it is alſo veryfied (as any other waye) that all Na|tions haue rather néede of Englande, then EEBO page image 124 Englande of any other. And thys I thincke may suffice for the ſubſtance of our works. Now if you haue regarde to their or [...]ature, how many Mines of ſundrie kindes of courſe and fine marble are then to be had in Eng|lãd. But chiefly one in Staffordſhyre, an o|ther néere to the Peke, the thirde at Vaul||dry, the fourth at Snothill, (longing to the Lord Chaindois) the fifth at Egleſtone, whi|che is of blacke Marble ſpotted with gray or white ſpottes, the ſixt not farre from Durhã. But what meane I to go about to recite all or the moſt excellent, ſith theſe which I haue named alreadie are not altogither of ye leaſt nor ſcarcely of any value in compariſon of thoſe whoſe places of growth are vtterly vn|knowne vnto me, & wherof the blacke mar|ble ſpotted with gréene is none of the vyleſt ſort, as may appeare by parcell of the paue|ment of the lower part of ye quire of Paules in London where ſome péeces thereof are yet to be ſéene and marked, yf any will looke for them. If marble will not ſerue then haue we the fineſt Alabaſter that may elſewhere be had, as about S. Dauides of Wales. Alſo néere to Bean Maner, which is about foure or fiue miles from Leiceſter, and taken to be the beſt, although there are diuers o|ther quarries hereof beyond ye Trent, whoſe names at this tyme are out of my remem|braunce. What ſhoulde I talke of the pla|ſter of Axeholme, (for of that which they dig out of the earth in ſundrie places of Lincolne & Darbyſhyres wherwith they blaũch their houſes in ſtéed of lime, I ſpeake not). Certes it is a very fine kinde of Alabaſter, but ſith it is ſolde commonly but after twelue pence the loade, we iudge it to be but vyle and courſe. For my part I cannot ſkill of ſtone, yet in my opiniõ it is not without great vſe for plaſter of pariſſe, and ſuch is the Mine of it that the ſtones lye in flakes one vppon an other like planckes or tables, and vnder the ſame is an harde ſtone verye profitable for building as hath oft tymes béene prooued. If neyther Alabaſter nor Marble doth ſuffice, we haue the Touche ſtone called in latin Ly|dius lapis, eyther to matche in ſockets with our pillers of Alabaſter or contrariwiſe: if it pleaſeth the worke man to ioyne pillers of Alabaſter or Touche with ſockets of braſſe, pewter, or copper, we want not theſe met|talles: So that I thincke no nation canne haue more excellent and greater diuerſitie of ſtuffe for buylding, then we may haue in Englande, yf our ſelfes coulde ſo like of it: but ſuch alas is our nature that not our own but other mens do moſt of all delite vs: and for deſire of noueltie we oft exchange our fi|neſt Cloth, Corne, Tinne and Woolles for halfe penny cockhorſes for children, dogges of were, two penny tabers, leaden ſwordes; painted feathers, gewgawes for fooles, dog [...] trickes for doltes, hawkes whoodes, and ſuch lyke, whereby we reape iuſte mockage any reproch. I might remember here our pitte [...] for Milſtones that are to be had in diuers places of our country as in Angleſey, alſo [...] Quene hope of blew gréete, of no leſſe value then the collein, yea then the French ſtones Our gryndſtones for hardware men. Our whetſtones and ſlate of ſundry coullours are euery where in maner to be had, as is ye flint and chalke, the ſhalder and the peble: How|beit for all this we muſt fetch them ſtil from farre, as dyd the hull men their ſtones out of Iſelande, wherwith they paued their towne for want of the like in Englande: or as Sir Thomas Greſham dyd, when he bought the ſtones in Flanders, wherewith he paued the Burſe, but as he will aunſwere that he har|gened for the whole moulde and ſubſtaunce of his workmanſhippe in Flaunders: ſo the Hullanders or Hull men will ſay, howe that ſtockefiſhe is light loding and therefore they dyd baiaſe their veſſels with theſe Iſelande ſtones to kéepe them from turning ouer in their ſo daungerous a voyage.

Previous | Next