Welcome from Somerset Stonemason Richard Harbury



I work from home in Taunton, Somerset in the local area, surrounding counties and throughout the U.K. providing a concise range of services from historic buildings and period property conservation, restoration and maintenance to monumental and lettering works
Working closely with clients, architects and conservation officers my wealth of technical and practical knowledge and experience gained from twenty eight years experience in the industry ensures a reliable, professional and considerate service.
Quality is of paramount importance in product, service, knowledge and advice. My ethos regarding materials selection has been developed to ensure compatability with the existing and surrounding environment and materials
Services provided include:
  • Historic buildings and period property conservation, restoration and maintenance including lime repointing, stone repair and replacement and stone cleaning
  • The design, production, supply and installation of architectural stonemasonry and architectural carving including worked cills, jambs and heads, voussoirs and arches and classical masonry
  • New build projects including all walling styles from fine ashlar work, mortared coursed, random coursed and random rubble, flint work and dry stone.
  • Bespoke fireplaces, fire surrounds and interior furniture
  • Gift ideas including stone candlesticks, bookends, lampstands, bowls and bespoke carvings
  • Internal and external flooring and paving
  • Garden products and ornaments including bird baths and sundials, seating and sculpture
  • Monumental, lettering and carving including house names, numbers and date stones

Please explore this site at your leisure. If you wish to comment, enquire or question please Contact Richard Harbury

TRACERY WINDOW RESTORATION, St.MARY'S CHURCH, BROUGHTON

On the left can be seen the extensive damage and loss of detail caused by the breakdown of the stone.
The image on the right shows the tracery restoration completed with stone replacement to the upper section.
There will obviously be some contention over stone replacement versus stone repair. In this instance replacement was specified by Architect and Conservation Officer, possibly due to the high loss of masonry and to preserve the geometric details before they are totally lost in time to further erosion.
Saint Mary's Church originates from the 12th century. For more information please visit Saint Mary's Church Website

CHILMARK STONE FIREPLACE SURROUND AND HEARTH


This fire surround and hearth is constructed from Chilmark stone. The mellow olive green colour and pronounced swirling patterns and striations of this choice of stone gives an instant aged patina to a new product providing an interesting focal point

NATURAL BATH STONE MEMORIALS


This piece shows raised lettering carved in Stoke Ground Bath Stone Base Bed
The letter height is three inches with the depth sunk to approximately half inch.
Stoke Ground Bath Stone is an Oolitic Limestone formed approximately 135 million years ago during the Middle Jurassic Period.


CHILMARK STONE VERTICAL SUNDIAL

This sundial is sited on the front elevation of Trinity Hospital, Salisbury
and was just one element of an award winning conservation project judged by the
Carved in the local Chilmark stone the dial was reproduced precisely from the fragmented and heavily weathered remains of the original which dated from c.1702
Chilmark stone is a particular favourite of mine. It has a fine texture facilitating precise carving, sharp arisses and has a unique and variagated olive green colour.


WINDOW TO DOORWAY CONVERSION



A pictoral demonstration showing a sympathetic conversion from a mullioned/transomed window into an attractive three centred arch doorway with semi circular arched window lights above.



FREE STANDING PORTLAND STONE HOUSE NAME ~BRYANTS COTTAGE~


This piece, carved in Portland stone, shows raised lettering in an eliptical sunken panel. The top has been set out as a three centred arch and pitched to produce a natural appearance. At the request of the client the face has been left un~rubbed to show the marks left by the saw when processed by the quarry's sawyard

INDIAN SANDSTONE FLOORING

Indian sandstone flags layed in a random coursed bond. The stone has a very fine rubbed finish, more suitable than a riven finish for attaining a level surface (no wobbly table legs here!) The stones were layed over an underfloor heating system


DRESSED MEDIAEVAL STYLE PORTLAND STONE FIREPLACE

This bespoke piece was designed around the fire basket to produce a mediaeval style and to maximise the use of the available material.
The fireplace was constructed utilising reclaimed Portland stone. Each block was reworked six sides using traditional hand tools and fundemental techniques and bedded in a compatible lime mortar.
A view up the flue. The date and initials inscription was a last minute addition and was carved in situ. This was not the easiest of lettering projects I have undertaken although I do relish a challenge and the opportunity to gently contort
More pictures of this project including before, during and after can be viewed

PORTLAND STONE HOUSE NAME ~ Ebenezer Cottage 59 ~


The lettering on this Portland stone house name demonstrates the incised 'V' cut letter and like all of my lettercutting and carving it is set out, drawn and carved by hand.

PORTLAND STONE HOUSE NAME ~CAREFREE COTTAGE~


This Portland stone house name is an incised cut in a Roman style font with the lettering at a height of 3 inches. This particular stone is Best Base Bed,
probably the finest stone in the World

WELSH SLATE HOUSE NAME ~COLLINGWOOD~


Lettercutting in progress. I am using a 5mm lettering chisel and a dummy. It is paramount to have well honed chisels at all times, especially when working slate
The plaque has been finished with a pitched border designed to show the striations or bed of this fine Welsh slate

PORTLAND STONE HOUSE NAME. BYEWAYS


To begin the lettering design is roughly set out on this piece of Portland stone to gauge the aesthetic potential of the available stone dimensions and shape
It has only been roughly drawn as the whole of the face will be dressed back and any current surface details will be removed.
This picture shows the development of the chosen design. As you can see, the lettering has been tooled off although it is a simple process to re-draw the design once the final surface finish, which will be fine-rubbed/polished, has been attained.
To see the tools and techniques used to reach this stage check out 'How It's Made'
With the surface rubbed and lettering drawn it is now time to cut or carve the letters. A general rule of thumb when carving incised lettering is to use a chisel of the same width as the drawn letter. Here I am using a half inch tungsten tipped chisel to rough-out the letter before finishing with a three quarter inch lettering chisel.
The finished design. To see the complete production process visit 'How It's Made'

PURBECK STONE HOUSE NUMBER 51

This house number has been carved into a rough piece of Purbeck stone
to produce a very rustic finish that seems at home on the grass verge

PURBECK and PORTLAND STONE BIRDBATH


Letter cutting in progress. The birdbath bowl is made from Purbeck Thornback stone which is a rather hard and dense, beautifully shelly limestone that is an absolute joy to carve and is perfect for lettering and fine detail carving
The finished bowl. The spiral effect is the result of dressing the stone using a bullnose boaster in drafts working in circles from the outside in. This bowl was actually made from an old flagstone. Click here to see How It's Made
The finished bowl has been mounted on a rustic carved Portland stone plinth and base. How It's Made