Building Materials

What are Quantock buildings made of?

  • An overgrown quarry

    The buildings, and what they are made of, help to make the Quantock Hills special.

    In the past people used whatever was easy to get hold of. They used wood and thatch, made 'cob' a mixture of local mudstone, water, straw and cow dung), and quarried stone from the hills.

You see houses and farm buildings made of Quantock sandstone everywhere. But it is not good carving stone. For shaped features, like window and door frames and decorations, they fetched stone from other parts of Somerset. Some buildings like churches often use two or three types of building stone. For very special carvings, like tombstones or memorials, wealthy people might choose unusual stone from even further away.

Buildings made of stone can last for a very long time, being added to and altered over the centuries. Sometimes a building that looks quite new might hide part of a much older original building. If a house is very old or unusual, it is put onto a list of protected buildings. Their owners have to have special permission if they want to change how listed buildings look. This helps to keep the Quantock Hills special.

Buildings made of local materials have a similar 'Quantock' look. Nowadays people can use modern materials like concrete, brick or non-local stone. But they often prefer to use traditional materials, and make new buildings that look old!