Ancient civilisations relied heavily on the stonemason to build their most impressive and enduring cultural monuments. The Egyptians built the pyramids, the Persians their palaces, the Greeks their temples and the Romans their public works and wonders.
Medieval stonemasons' skills were in high demand, there were three classes of stonemasons in the guild: Apprentices, Journeymen, and the Master Masons. A medieval stonemason would often carve a personal symbol onto their block to differentiate their work from that of other stonemasons.
In the late 19th & 20th centuries, radical changes altered the way work was accomplished. The arrival of steam power and the internal combustion engine meant that many of the harder aspects of the trade were simplified, but the Master Mason's skill and ability to carve and shape stone remains substantially unchanged.
Granite is the oldest igneous rock in the world, believed to have been formed as long as 100 million years ago. Granite is also what is called a "plutonic" rock meaning that it forms deep underground. Granite is the main component that makes up the earth's continental crust. Granite is one of the hardest substances in the world, second only to diamonds. Granite meets all the requirements of permanence, enduring colour and texture, and complete freedom from deterioration and maintenance. Granite comes in many different colours and is quarried all over the world.
Comprised mainly of sand-size mineral or rock grains, most sandstone is composed of quartz and feldspar - two of the most common minerals in the earth's crust.
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