Guide

Materials

Our main limestones

Bath Stone

We are very lucky to have the world-famous Bath Stone quarried on our doorstep.

We believe it is the best English limestone for hand-carving fireplaces as it has the perfect balance of colour, grain, character and natural warmth.

Bath stone is a sedimentary stone formed around 150 million years ago and boasts an abundance of visible fossil fragments and occasional light veining.

The creamy-buff colour is wonderfully consistent throughout all quarry blocks.

Please contact us for a sample of Bath Stone.

Portland Limestone

The equally renounwed Portland limestone is specified for numerous projects where it is the right fit for the desired aesthetic.

Given Portland stone’s strong association with many of the great buildings in London (St Paul’s, Buckingham Palace), the brief is often to create a sense of austere grandeur.

Please contact us for a sample of Portland Stone.

Other English Stone Types

We are also able to source a range of other beautiful English limestones, with a diverse spectrum of colours and character.

As well as limestones, fireplaces can also be carved in some of the best-known English sandstones.

Please note: all of the types of stone we use are natural products and therefore may to subject to some degree of variation in colour and character.

The images shown should be used as a guide only. Samples are selected to be typical of the stone but cannot be guaranteed to represent the full variability of the material that may occur across a larger area.

If in any doubt, please contact us for further advice.

Limestones
syreford limestone sample swatch, Sandridge Stone Fireplaces, Limestone, Bath Stone, Portland Limestone, Melksham, Wiltshire
Syreford
Oat Hill Limestone sample swatch, Sandridge Stone Fireplaces, Limestone, Bath Stone, Portland Limestone, Melksham, Wiltshire
Oat Hill
Ham Limestone sample swatch, Sandridge Stone Fireplaces, Limestone, Bath Stone, Portland Limestone, Melksham, Wiltshire
Ham
English Sandstone
Woodkirk sandstone sample swatch, Sandridge Stone Fireplaces, Limestone, Bath Stone, Portland Limestone, Melksham, Wiltshire
Woodkirk
Scotch buff sandstone sample swatch, Sandridge Stone Fireplaces, Limestone, Bath Stone, Portland Limestone, Melksham, Wiltshire
Scotch Buff
Corse Hill Sandstone sample swatch, Sandridge Stone Fireplaces, Limestone, Bath Stone, Portland Limestone, Melksham, Wiltshire
Corse Hill

Craftsmanship

Each fireplace is individually crafted to order using techniques largely unchanged since the days of the great medieval cathedral builders. The mason’s ‘banker’ (from the French banc, meaning bench) is the workbench on which we have always plied our trade.

Most of our tools would be recognisable to our ancient forbears and they would certainly identify with the ‘mason’s mark’ that has always been made on the back of the finished stone, indicative of the enormous pride we take in a piece of work well executed.

Visitors are always welcome at our workshop, where you can see first-hand the skills and dedication that goes into creating our stunning fireplaces.

SERVICE

The Design Journey

A hand-carved, English limestone fireplace from Sandridge Stone will transform any room it graces. It becomes the focal point of the space and can provide the cue for many other interior design choices. We therefore recognise that choosing the right style and proportions for your fireplace are a critical part of achieving overall the look you want. No matter what your level of knowledge, we ensure that every customer receives the same dedicated, expert advice gained through our extensive experience of designing, carving and installing fireplaces.

Your new fireplace might be part of a quick facelift for a room or just one element of a large and long-term restoration or new-build project, involving many inter-dependencies. Whatever your individual circumstances, we will work closely with you, you architect, interior designer and builder to achieve the perfect end result.

Many of our customers choose from the existing range of designs, where sizes can easily be adjusted to meet individual requirements. Additionally, some components such as hearths or mantel shelves can be mixed and matched with other designs or materials, such as slate or granite.

However, the range is far from exhaustive. Because our fireplaces are made by hand, not machine, the true scope of design is limited only by your imagination, indeed lots of our fireplaces are conceived from scratch. At first this might seem like a daunting challenge for some customers but, with our wealth of expertise in managing bespoke projects from concept to completion, we will support and guide you through each step. Depending on the complexity of the project, the end-to-end process can be completed in as little as four weeks and will usually involve four stages:

1. Concept

Simply let us know how to contact you and we will get in touch for an initial consultation.

We’ll offer ideas, advice and a price guide without any charge or obligation.

Fireplace concept sketch, Sandridge Stone Fireplaces, Limestone, Bath Stone, Portland Limestone, Melksham, Wiltshire

2. Design

Sketches, scale drawings and computer design imaging may all be used to present the design, giving a real feel of how it will look in your room.

This can be changed as often as required until it is perfect for you.

person on laptop creating 3D image of fireplace model, Sandridge Stone Fireplaces, Limestone, Bath Stone, Portland Limestone, Melksham, Wiltshire

3. Carving

Once the design has been agreed we order the block stone from the quarry, which goes into our workshop for carving. Some fireplaces can take many days or even weeks of hand-caving to produce the finished article.

Stonemason carving fireplace, hand carved fireplace, bespoke fireplace, Stone Fireplaces, Hand carved fireplaces, bespoke fireplace, Period fireplace, French fireplace, Sandridge Stone Fireplaces, Limestone, Bath Stone, Portland Limestone, Melksham, Wiltshire

4. Installation

Many of our fireplaces are very straightforward to install and each one is supplied with detailed instructions and a kit of accessories to make it as simple as possible.

Your local builder or stove installer will usually be able to do the work and we provide a support helpline they can get in touch with us on if needed.

On very large or complex fireplaces we may recommend that we carry out the installation to ensure a perfect result and we are always happy to quote for this service.

Stone fireplace installation with 3 men, installing mantel shelf, Sandridge Stone Fireplaces, Limestone, Bath Stone, Portland Limestone, Melksham, Wiltshire
A gas burning fireplace in a new home, Mantel shelf, Limestone Shelf, Sandridge Stone Fireplaces, Limestone, Bath Stone, Portland Limestone, Melksham, Wiltshire

Delivery

We can arrange delivery of our fireplaces throughout the UK and overseas. Prices will depend on size, weight and location and start from as little as £75. Please contact us for a quotation.

Customers can also collect themselves from our workshop and, by arrangement, we will open out of hours (evenings and weekends) to facilitate this.

Where we are installing the fireplace, we will of course deliver it as part of this service at no extra charge.

Carved Bath Stone Fireplace in pieces waiting to be assembled,
Company work van, Stone Fireplaces, Hand carved fireplaces, bespoke fireplace, Period fireplace, French fireplace, Sandridge Stone Fireplaces, Limestone, Bath Stone, Portland Limestone, Melksham, Wiltshire

Stone Care

Natural English limestones are very robust and hard-wearing materials. Despite their light colour, it’s really easy to keep a fireplace looking as good as new for a lifetime.

Every fireplace is supplied with a high-quality stone sealant, which will protect it against the common stains, such as teacup and wine glass rings.

We provide a simple guide with your order, explaining some of the things you can do to care for your fireplace.

Glossary

The terminology used for the various elements of a stone fireplace can seem confusing, so we’ve put together a helpful guide to explain what’s what.

The Anatomy of a Stone Fireplace

A hand-carved stone fireplace is comprised of separate stone sections fitted together. The number of sections will vary depending on the design of the fireplace and any optional extras selected.

The picture below shows the different sections of a typical Sandridge Stone fireplace.

Mantel shelf

Very top stone of the fireplace, ideal for placing ornaments, clocks, candlesticks etc.

Lintel

Large horizontal stone that forms the bridge above the opening. Sometimes referred to as the “head”.

Jamb

Vertical side supports of the fireplace.

Stone fireplace with labels. Text: "Mantel Shelf" "Lintel" "Pad" "Jamb" "pad" "Front Hearth" Bath Hearth" "Chamber lining", Stone Fireplaces, Hand carved fireplaces, bespoke fireplace, Period fireplace, French fireplace, Sandridge Stone Fireplaces, Limestone, Bath Stone, Portland Limestone, Melksham, Wiltshire

Pad

Small block of stone that sits at the bottom (and sometimes top) or the jamb, as an additional decorative feature. Sometimes referred to as “foot-block”.

Front Hearth

Flat stone which forms the base of the fireplace and projects forward into the room.

Back Hearth

Flat stone that sits within the chamber and forms the base for the fire or stove.

Opening

The gap in the chimney breast or wall that opens into the chamber.

Slip

Panels of stone sitting between the inner edges of the fireplace and outer edges of the opening. Slips allow for the fireplace to be large without the need to increase the size of the opening. Sometimes referred to as “back panels”.

Chamber

Internal recess of the chimney breast where the fire or stove is located and from which the flue or chimney rises.

Chamber lining

Stone panels or tiles to clad the sides and back of the chamber.

Testimonials

What does ‘hand-carved’ actually mean?

All our fireplaces are made using the traditional craft skills of stonemasonry, most of which have existed for millennia.

Whilst these methods are time-consuming, we believe passionately that the resulting workmanship speaks for itself.

All of the tools we use are hand-held and we don’t employ any mass-production technology such as CNC machinery.

How long will it take to produce my fireplace?

The lead time will vary depending on the complexity of the project.

It can be as little as four weeks from start to finish but would typically be around twelve weeks from first contact depending on the time of year.

What if I want something different, like a carved motif or lettering?

Our work is truly bespoke, so we always welcome the challenge of adding personalised detailing.

The only real limitation is your imagination!

Are your fireplaces compatible with all types of fires?

Yes.

The heat from wood-burning or multi-fuel stove, open fires or gas & electric appliances poses no risk to the stone.

How easy are they to fit?

Fitting of most of our fireplaces can be done by a reputable general builder or stove installer.

We supply detailed instructions and a fitting kit with every fireplace. Fixing holes and bracket rebates are pre drilled for ease of fitting.

For some large and complex projects, we may recommend that the fitting is undertaken by ourselves to ensure perfect results.

What is preparation is needed to do the fitting?

It the project is new build we can advise on the dimensions and specifications of the fire chamber and chimney breast.

For restorations we would recommend that the client employs a good general builder and we will work closely with you and them to make sure everything is in place for fitting the fireplace.

How do I keep my hearth clean?

Cleaning your English limestone fireplace is quick and easy.

We provide a care instruction guide with every fireplace to help you keep it looking stunning for a lifetime.

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