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main image Engraving of a masons' yard
This 19th century engraving shows work in a masons' yard. The work was arduous and almost entirely done outdoors.

Two of the men in the picture are using chisels and mells to chip away at stone blocks. A third, seated on a wedge-shaped stool atop a barrel, is slicing through a block of stone with a frame saw. A fourth is polishing a stone slab.

With the greater availability of brick and other moulded products, the use of constructional stone declined, though it retained some hold as a facing material. Work for monumental masons – carving gravestones – does not look like running out.

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