Rag-stone is a name given by some architectural writers to work done
with stones that are quarried in thin pieces, such as Horsham Stone,
Yorkshire stone, and the slate stones, but this is more
properly flag or slab work. By rag-stone, or Kentish rag, near London,
is meant an excellent material from the neighborhood of Maidstone. It
is a very hard limestone of bluish-grey colour, and peculiarly suited
for medieval work. It is often laid as uncoursed work, or random work,
sometimes as random coursed work and sometimes as regular ashlar.
Ragstone, a dull grey stone, is still quarried on an industrial scale
close to the Kent Downs AONB. It has traditionally been used within
the AONB as a road stone, cobble or sett and a walling block. Although
difficult to ‘dress’ with a regular face it has been used as
rectangular blocks for the construction of walls and buildings and was
very popular for the construction of 19th-century churches. More
frequently, owing to the difficult and variable nature of the stone,
it is seen as irregular and self-faced irregular blocks in walling.
Due to its irregular shape, as with flint, ragstone has been set
within brick quoins and bands. ‘Spalls’, fist sized irregular
chips of ragstone, have been used to surface paths but modern usage of
ragstone is as a general construction aggregate, including fill for
gabions and loose or partly binding gravels.
Natural Ragstone Outcrop in Dryhill Nature Reserve
Church made from Ragstone
List of types of limestone
This article incorporates text from a publication now in
the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Rag-stone".
Encyclopædia Britannica. 22 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.