Visit to the Stonemasons'Yard

Workshop at the Stonemasons' Yard

A beautiful, crisp winter’s morning saw a group leave Measham for the short drive to Weldon, near Corby. Here we were warmly welcomed by Peter and Jack, who showed us over the site and explained the various stages involved in producing the new stone to be fitted into the windows at Saint Laurence’s.

First up was the variety of stone in the yard, from great blocks of rock to large cut slabs of Bath, Cotswold, Weldon and various other stone.

types of stone  

The Hollington stone for Measham came in smaller pieces, this being the way it was marketed and sold by the quarry.

Hollington Stone for Saint Laurence'sStone ready to be cut to shape

Next was the cutting room, where a massive primary saw, and 3 secondary saws which were still pretty big, cut the large slabs into manageable sizes for the particular needs of the job. A further saw could cut the slabs into shapes for arches and circles. Pieces of ‘our own’ stone were displayed before being taken off to be finished.

in the cutting roomThe great saw

Then began the labour intensive, hand chiselling of the stone, each piece following a template taken from the original window. Here the fine tracery designs came into being, patiently formed by the masons using chisels appropriate to the type of stone being worked, each piece taking up to a day to work. In this way, a new window is gradually put together and checked for a close fit.

The fine chisellingthe last touches

Prior to being taken to the church for fine tuning the pieces to be inserted into the windows, the glaziers will visit the stone yard to check the measurements and fit of the structure so that the glass can be exactly matched.

Although, as in most walks of life, the computer now has a part to play, especially in planning the shapes and accurately measuring the arches, most of the work is still done by hand. Peter, Jack and the other masons were able to answer our questions in terms we could easily understand.

This waHLF logos a very worthwhile visit, adding to our understanding of the whole process taking place in Measham. We now look forward to seeing the new stonework in the church early in 2019 with the glass to follow in late winter/ early spring.

Many thanks to our hosts at Weldon Stone.



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