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Bargate stone

From Academic Kids

Bargate stone is a highly durable form of sandstone, which was quarried for centuries in south west Surrey, United Kingdom - particularly around Guildford and Godalming. It owes its yellow, ‘butter’ colouring to the high iron oxide content.

Bargate is to be found in many buildings in this part of Surrey, where it has been used for the best part of 1,000 years. One of the earliest surviving examples is the Keep at Guildford Castle. It was a credit to the strength of Bargate that it was chosen for the main structure, standing on top of the natural chalk bedrock, which would have been more readily available. The same stone was used in Godalming Parish Church, which dates back to Saxon times.

In more recent years, it was used to construct Charterhouse School (completed 1872), and was also favoured by locally based architect Edwin Lutyens for much of his domestic work.

Bargate is rarely used today, although the medieval quarries can still be seen in Godalming, at the foot of Holloway Hill.

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