Saturday, 16 July 2016

All Hallows Church - Limestone

All Hallows Church - The South Chapel

Taking a quick look at the exterior of All Hallows church in Harthill, it is essentially built of mottled varieties of “Rotherham Red” sandstone, with limestone used for windows and dressings.

An original 13th century window

In the south chapel, large blocks of squared limestone also constitute a large proportion of the walling stone and have been randomly mixed with blocks of “Rotherham Red” sandstone, which suggests that an older structure has been recycled.

Limestone and Sandstone

Surveying the fabric much more closely, the various phases of “restoration” can be determined – from the rebuilding by Victorian architects to essential repairs undertaken in recent times – by examining the shape, size, tooling, the weathering and the colour of the blocks of stone.

Restored Windows - Permian Limestone and Jurassic Limestone

There has been no consistency in the materials used throughout its history of restoration, often with the local “Rotherham Red” sandstone and dolomitic limestone being mixed together or with one replacing another, as seen in the buttresses to the tower and other places.

A view of the restored buttresses to the tower

As I have discovered, when undertaking an extremely thorough investigation of St. Helen's church in Treeton, it takes hydrochloric acid and scratch tests - at least - to determine the provenance of these various stones.

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