Illustrated Glossary

This illustrated glossary helps users identify Reigate Stone and its common decay patterns. The condition of Reigate Stone masonry can be assessed using a simple form.

A lack of taxonomic clarity is a persistent challenge for stone conservation. It highlights the interdisciplinary nature of stone conservation science. Architects, conservators, geologists, earth scientists, art historians, archaeologists, chemists and engineers each approach the subject matter from different perspectives. Each bring their own set of terms and classiciations. Often these are inadequate when describing the phenomena of stone deterioration. An international field with many linguistic idiosyncrasies does not make things easier.

Attempts at establishing a common language for stone conservation science are not new. Glossaries such as the ICOMOS Illustrated Glossary of Stone Deterioration Patterns and methodologies such as that established by Bernd Fitzner et al. have made work much easier. These generalised frameworks can demystify the discipline and facilitate science. This in turn enables comparison across different projects, which benefits conservation practice.

But, generalised frameworks prove less effective when tackling specific problems facing individual lithologies. A disproportionate amount of time is spent working on vulnerable building stones such as Reigate Stone. The nature of these ‘non-analogue’ stones often prevents generalised frameworks from incorporating their peculiarities. Establishing specific glossaries and frameworks is therefore of great practical and scientific value. These can focus on the challenges of individual lithologies, whilst linking back to general frameworks.



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