Natural stone glossary

The list below is just some of the vast number of different products or techniques that our stone processing plants have been involved in over the years.


Originally a simple, flat, structural lintel spanning an opening in a wall, it is the lowest part of the classical entablature. Subsequently a term used to describe any moulded door or window frame.


The practice of laying stone in smooth cut – or dressed – blocks in regular courses, separated by only the thinnest of joints. Originated by the ancient Egyptians and adopted as an important element of classical architecture.

Coursed building stone

Coursed building stone refers to stones used in a structured, ordered manner known as coursing. Chosen for its visual appeal, the regularity of the stone arrangement can enhance the symmetry and balance of a building’s façade. The stones within each course are aligned horizontally, meaning the top surfaces of the stones in each layer are at the same level, creating straight and level lines throughout the structure.

Dry stone walling

A dry stone wall can also be known as a dry-stone dyke, drystane dyke, dry-stone hedge, or rock fence. The wall is constructed from stones without using any mortar to bind them together. As with other dry stone structures, the wall is held up by the interlocking of the stones. Such walls are used in building construction, or as field boundaries.


The area above an entryway in which the transom is contained.


A horizontal supporting crosspiece over an opening.


The rounded fore-edge of a stair tread.


A stone or block reinforcing or accenting the corners of a building.

Raking Cornice

The sloping mouldings of a pediment.

Rough dressed building stone

The stone is supplied in irregular bed heights and is often chosen where a more rustic look is desired

Rough Sill

The bottom rail of a window rough opening.


An architectural technique that gives a visible surface texture to contrast typically with smooth squared ashlar.

Sawn split

The stone is cut on both the top and bottom sides which makes it easier to lay. It is typically laid in a coursed pattern but different heights can be used to create a more rustic appearance.

Sawn, split and tumbled

Once the stone has been sawn split the stone can then be tumbled in a tumbling machine to remove the sharp edges and corners. Tumbled stone gives the appearance of more rustic, weathered stone


A horizontal piece forming the bottom frame of a window or door opening.


The part of a porch facade that reflects the balustrade.

Tumbled stone

Tumbled stone has had the sharp edges and corners knocked off in a tumbling machine and gives the appearance of more rustic, weathered stone


A small window just above a door.


Not all our products need detailing and our saws can produce sawn six sided stones for you, or your masons, to work.


A unit of measure equivalent to three feet. At Building Stone we don’t mind what dimensions you give us, just leave it to us and you will always be able to get exactly what you ask for.


The top horizontal board of a window frame.