Limestone beds

//Limestone beds
Limestone beds 2017-06-27T15:16:25+01:00

Portland limestone beds

Whitbed, basebed and roach

Our natural Portland stone is available in three main beds – whitbed, basebed and roach.

Offering different aesthetics and properties that have formed over 145 million years. Each bed type will have a variation within itself and can be tailored to suit your project requirements.


Oolitic limestone consists principally of calcium carbonate and has a granular structure produced by shell fragments, mud and sand. The stone is quarried and mined, sawn to shape with the surface machined to produce the texture or pattern required.


We provide a range of oolitic limestones supplied in regular sawn slabs or in special shapes, used for a variety of cladding and decorative applications in buildings.

All types of stone supplied are suitable for external or internal use for wall cladding, coping, capping, cills, lintels and decorative features. Portland stone is also suitable for walling and flooring.

Portland limestone quarry section example


Each quarry has its own unique whitbed aesthetic.

For example our Perryfield shelly whitbed contains bands of shelling that is slightly open in texture, in contrast to Broadcroft whitbed which has white fleck, distributed shelling and a tight graining. 

A typical description of whitbed would be to contain some shell throughout its mass with a fine grain.

More durable than basebed, a whitbed can be used both internally and externally.


Basebed is predominately known as having a fine grain with little shell content. Although this can vary from quarry to quarry.

As an external stone it is not as suitable as say a whitbed or roach, usually requiring a weathering course to prolong its lifespan. Basebed tends to be predominantly used internally as flooring or cladding.

Carvers have long since used basebed for its easy work-ability however, our range can provide similar whitbeds for most project requirements.


Portland roach has a unique shell structure which can be coarse in texture.

Used more frequently when a contrasting or more durable stone is required for example in plinths or band courses.

Roach is a hard stone and lends itself to plain cut work, it is not easily carved or worked by a mason and can therefore be more costly to shape.