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A (Very Short!) History of Stonemasonry

Image of a stonemason at work

It is generally accepted that the practice of stonemasonry dates back thousands of years. Exactly when people started shaping rocks and stones is unknown, but it would be impossible to put together a comprehensive history without writing a book. For that reason, we’ve put together a very short history of stonemasonry, taking a look at three different stages in its development. 

Ancient Empires

One of the best known examples of early stonemasonry, the pyramids of Egypt, provide us with a constant reminder of the skill of ancient civilisations. Add into the equation the temples of the Ancient Greeks and the vast array of buildings still standing in Ancient Rome, and it becomes clear that a great number of the world’s most fascinating landmarks are here because of stonemasons. 

Medieval stonemasonry

The medieval period, spanning roughly a thousand years, witnessed the construction of a huge range of buildings. These included castles and stunning cathedrals, such as Paris’ Notre Dame. While a number of buildings from the earlier medieval period were neglected, the Renaissance ensured that stonemasons were able to showcase their skills once again. Medieval stonemasons were highly skilled and sought-after, and began to introduce personal symbols. These would be added to their work to help differentiate it from other workers’.

Modern constructions

The modern world is full of memorials and castles from thousands of years ago, but is also home to a number of exceptionally talented stonemasons still in work. With the introduction of cranes and forklifts, techniques have changed, and large-scale projects don’t require so many men (or animals)! 

Cope Memorials

We specialise in creating memorials and headstones here at Cope Memorials. While we’ve never built a pyramid or a spectacular cathedral, our team is made up entirely of highly experienced professionals. If you require a reliable stonemasons company, then get in touch with us on 01773 602 187. Alternatively, head over to our contact page and fill out one of our online forms. 

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