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Traditional Building Materials

by Matthew Slocombe

Steel and glass now dominate modern British cities, but the country can still boast millions of older houses constructed of more traditional building materials. Many date from the period before easy nationwide transportation, when these materials were usually grown on or extracted from land in the locality. As a result, Britain has a varied legacy of vernacular buildings that echoes its multitude of different landscapes. They display a rich and colourful palette of materials from the honey-coloured stone of the Cotswolds, to the red earth of Devon and grey granite of Aberdeen. In this book, buildings historian Matthew Slocombe explores the way in which locally produced constructional resources have shaped Britain's architectural heritage, whether workers' cottages or country houses. He looks at the range of materials used for walls and roof coverings, and explores the processes needed for their extraction, production and manufacture. He also considers the wealth of craft skills required for their use, including masonry, carpentry, roofing, leadwork and much more.

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