was used for building in two main forms: directly as in walling
and, in the case of limestone, by burning to produce lime.
The lower altitude and generally more wooded nature of eastern
Mendip with its mixed and often well-developed soils, means that
dry-stone field walls, although relatively common, do not dominate
the landscape as they do in the higher west Mendip.
Any hard stone tended
to be used for local construction, but builders often preferred
certain types of stone for particular functions. The choice of
stone reflected its ease of working, ability to withstand weathering,
and changing fashions in building styles. Even in the heart of
hard Carboniferous Limestone country, most village churches have
ornately decorated towers of Doulting Stone or other Jurassic oolites.
The most mundane farm building often used roughly worked Carboniferous
Limestone for the main walls, but the surrounds for windows and
doors, and wall ends are of the much more easily worked Doulting
limestone capable of producing a fine edge (arris). Local traditional
roofs were mainly of thatch or baked clay tile (pantile or plain
tile). Unlike other areas such as the Cotswolds or Pennines, limestone
and sandstone have not been widely used as a roofing material.
There was thus little incentive to establish large quarries as
stone of a sort could be obtained from more or less anywhere, except
for the specialist Doulting Stone.