OR/13/015 Introduction

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Gillespie, M R, Everett, P A, Albornoz-Parra, L J, and Tracey, E A. 2013. A survey of building stone and roofing slate in Falkirk town centre. Nottingham, UK, British geological Survey. (OR/13/015).

This report describes a survey of the natural stones and roofing slates used in buildings that lie within, or face onto, the Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) area in Falkirk town centre. The survey was commissioned by Falkirk Council, and was undertaken by the Building Stones Team of the British Geological Survey (BGS).

The project had three main objectives.

  1. Conduct a survey of the buildings within the THI area, recording the different types of building stone and roofing slate and their distribution.
  2. Identify quarries in and around Falkirk that may have supplied stone used in the THI area.
  3. Use stone matching to identify the most suitable currently available building stones and roofing slates to use in repair/restoration work.

Information gathered by the project is intended to inform planning decisions regarding future repairs to stone-built structures within Falkirk town centre. Information of this sort can also help to raise public awareness of the history, character and value of the local built heritage.

The geographical and geological setting of Falkirk is described in Geographical and geological context. The survey and its outcomes are described in Survey details and outcomes. The results of a brief, desk-top review of the history of building stone extraction in the Falkirk area are presented in Building stone quarries in the Falkirk area. Stone matching for the different building stones and roofing slates recorded in the survey is described in Stone matching for buildings in the Falkirk THI area.

The primary survey data have been delivered independently of this report, in a Microsoft Excel table and a shape file suitable for GIS applications. A set of digital photographs — one image of each building at the time it was surveyed — has also been delivered separately.

Figure 1    Topographic map of Falkirk area and modern road infrastructure.
Red outline on the main map and inset map is the Falkirk Council area (approximate).