Building Materials

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Bristol, Bush House, Detail

Pennant Stone - a soft sandstone quarried E of Bristol. It was particularly exploited in the C19 and is responsible for much of the character of the city's buildings. The basementGlossary Term plinthGlossary Term of the warehouse had vermiculated rusticationGlossary Term which has weathered to a softly dimpled texture. Another characteristic of Pennant stone is its sedimentary layering, seen in the panels between the windows of the S side. They have a quality like rippling water.

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Bristol - pennant colours

Pennant stone occurs in a range of colours, mostly grey cast with blue or green, but sometimes of a strong plum-red or ochre yellow colour. Bush House is constructed of a careful mix of rock-facedGlossary Term blocks in grey-green, interspersed with plum and orange Pennant. From a distance this appears a soft brown grey, but closeGlossary Term up the variation prevents the high walls from appearing oppressive. The dressingsGlossary Term around the windows and atticGlossary Term corniceGlossary Term are of a cream limestone (probably Bath Stone), giving contrast and definition. Pope's handling of his materials is confident and subtle.



Small top storey within a roof. Also the storey above the main entablature of a classical fa


Lowest, subordinate storey; hence the lowest part of a classical elevation, below the piano nobile or principal storey.


The precinct of a cathedral. Also (Scots) a courtyard or passage giving access to a number of buildings.


Flat-topped ledge with moulded underside, projecting along the top of a building or feature, especially as the highest member of the classical entablature. Also the decorative moulding in the angle between wall and ceiling. An eaves cornice overhangs the edge of a roof.


The stone or brickwork worked to a finished face about an angle, opening, or other feature.


Projecting courses at the foot of a wall or column, generally cut back (chamfered) or moulded at the top.


Masonry cleft to produce a natural, rugged appearance.


Exaggerated treatment of masonry to give an effect of strength. The joints are usually recessed, by V-section chamfering or square-section channelling (channelled rustication). Banded rustication has only the horizontal joints emphasized. The faces may be flat, but can be diamond-faced, like shallow pyramids, vermiculated, with a stylized texture like worm-casts, and glacial, like icicles or stalactites (also called frost-work). Rusticated columns may have their shafts treated in any of these ways.