Hamstone is the name given to stone from Ham Hill, Somerset, England. Ham Hill stone is a Jurassic limestone from the Toarcian, or Upper Lias, stage. It is a well cemented medium to coarse grained limestone characterised by its honey-gold colour and marked bedding planes. The stone contains thin beds of less well cemented material and some small clay inclusions. These areas weather differentially to give weathered Hamstone its furrowed appearance.
Ham Hill stone is only quarried in two areas on the top of Ham Hill. The older North quarry, near the stone circle and famous monument, extracts stone from just beneath the surface. Whilst the stone extracted from the Southern, Norton Quarry, is found some 20-30 metres below the surface and is quarried by Harvey Stone.
Jenkins describe Hamstone as "the lovliest building material in England," golden Hamstone is soft enough to be cut to make decorative features such as doorway arches and bell openings in church towers. The attractive colour also contributes to its being chosen by masons and architects for more than 1000 years for adorning the buildings in the countryside of surrounding Somerset. Hamstone is featured in the medieval church towers throughout the county, and the town of South Petherton is built largely out of Hamstone.
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