We rundown the 5 most iconic granite structures in the UK.
At Modern Worktops, we’ve developed an intense appreciation for the versatility and beauty of granite as a work surface and interior design material through our years of sourcing, supplying and crafting it to our customers’ exact specifications.
But we’re also in awe of the myriad applications granite has in construction. Because it is such a durable material, granite has been a cornerstone (often literally) of construction for millennia.
To celebrate this marvelous material’s diversity and importance in architecture, this week we thought we’d give you all a look at what we consider to be the five most iconic granite structures in the United Kingdom.
5. Nelson’s Column
Built to commemorate Admiral Horatio Nelson, this well-known monument stands proudly in the center of Trafalgar Square.
Originally, the column was going to be constructed of sandstone, and only the base was to be made from granite, but it was later decided that the whole column should be built from granite.
If you include the statue of Nelson at the top, the Corinthian column stands at just over 169 feet tall.
4. Truro Cathedral
Completed in 1910, Truro Cathedral is beautifully constructed in the Gothic Revival style.
One of only three cathedrals in the United Kingdom with three spires, Truro Cathedral is composed of a number of different materials. Primarily though, the exterior is built from Mabe granite, whilst the interior uses St Stephen’s granite.
The cathedral is also famous for the Father Willis Organ of 1887, regarded by organists as one of the finest instruments in the country.
3. Victoria Embankment
A key part of the Thames Embankment, Victoria Embankment was the first street in Britain to be lit permanently by electricity.
Originally, Victoria Embankment was built to house a new sewerage system, after the smell in the Houses of Parliament become intolerable.
As with all of the Thames Embankment, most of the stone used in its construction is granite quarried from Lamorna Cove in Cornwall, then ferried up the English Channel on barges and into the Thames.
2. Tower Bridge
Situated a stone’s throw from City Hall and the Tower of London, Tower Bridge is one of the most iconic symbols of London, and for this reason it is often confused with London Bridge.
Built by sinking over 70,000 tons of concrete into the riverbed to support the construction of the two towers, Tower Bridge is an impressively massive structure. The exterior of the bridge is largely composed of Cornish granite, but the structure is supported by over 11,000 tons of steel framework beneath that.
Famously, or perhaps infamously, the bridge was built to open to allow tall ships to pass through. Impressive as this is, not everyone was pleased with the bridge when it was newly built, with Frank Brangwyn stating that “a more absurd structure than the Tower Bridge was never thrown across a strategic river”.
1. Bell Rock Lighthouse
Considered one of the 7 wonders of the industrial world, Bell Rock Lighthouse is a truly impressive achievement.
Constructed using around 2500 stones of Aberdeen granite, the masonry work is of such high quality that it has not needed to be replaced for over 200 years. The high quality of craftsmanship is also perhaps why this building is the oldest surviving sea-washed lighthouse in the world.
You may not be able to rival any of these by adding granite to your home, but isn’t it grounding to know that with a granite worktop you’ll be tapping into the same kind of material that has been integral to so many of the UK’s landmarks?
NEXT: Have a look at some of our case studies such as installing Star Galaxy Granite in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire or installing a Granite Worktop in Broxbourne, Hertfordshire, or read about the unique qualities of granite.