French limestone is quarried throughout France by many small independent artisan companies as well some large, internationally recognised quarry companies.
As you will see from the list of limestones at the foot of this page, we are able to offer the widest range of high quality French stone from every part of France.
French limestone is often thought of as pale cream flagstones with honey coloured bands running through them. But there is actually a wide variety of different colours and characteristics. They range from the honey colours in some Burgundy limestone which complements other natural materials such as oak, through to the very dark Soignies which works beautifully as cabochons against the pale coloured Chauvigny or perhaps Avy Blanc. Even within one quarry, different levels or ‘benches’ produce different stones. For example, the Chamesson quarry currently produces stone from 5 benches, each of which have notably differing characteristics.
French limestone flooring is widely regarded as the ultimate limestone for both internal and external use. It has been used in the greatest chateaux of the Loire as well as in ancient and contemporary buildings in the UK, Europe and beyond. There are many examples of French limestone in some of London’s greatest buildings, both old and new.
Limestone is quarried all over different regions of France. The best known is probably the Burgundy limestone, or Pierre de Bourgogne. (Pierre de Bourgogne is a generic name for “stone from Burgundy”. It doesn’t relate to one specific quarry but it is often thought of as a beige/cream stone that has sandy bands running through it). Even here, there are several dozen quarries each producing slightly different colours and characteristics. The image below gives an indication of how different the stones can be just from this relatively small region.
There are large deposits of French limestone all over France. In the south west, there are stones that are paler and more uniform in colour such as the little known Roche de Clermont, Luget and Avy. The Avy is one of the more unusual stones in that it has white fossil shells with just the occasional brown or grey shell fossil. But in the south west, there are also some highly coloured stones such as the Limeyrat limestone. This has a vast range of colours ranging from beige to brown and on to blue and grey.
Caen stone from Normandy has been known in the UK since the days of William the Conqueror. It was used in the building of Canterbury Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and parts of the Tower of London and was transported from near the Normandy town of Caen. William the Conqueror was reputed to have said that he didn’t want his castles to be built from the English stone! But it makes sense that he would have used stone quarried from land that he already owned.
The Paris region has its own range of French limestone. St Maximin was famously used in many of the buildings along the Champs Elysées. Vassens limestone from the same region has also been used in Paris as well as in several UK cathedrals and other heritage buildings.
Since the latter part of the 20th century and up to the present day, the creamy Lavoux limestone from south of the Loire valley has been used for repairs in Canterbury cathedral, York Minster and several other grand cathedrals in the UK. It also makes a great French limestone cladding stone as it is durable and frost resistant. Lavoux is sometimes known in the UK as Lépine. Two forms of Lavoux limestone are currently being quarried. The Lavoux à Grain is a slightly coarser grained stone with a warm, pale beige colour and the Lavoux Fin is finer grained and slightly whiter. Both are excellent for carving and have been in many UK cathedrals. Lavoux Fin, particularly, is popular with a growing number of sculptors for its uniformity and ability to hold a sharp edge and fine detail.
There is a long history of French limestone being used in English buildings and it is now recognised all over the world as the ultimate limestone for prestigious projects.
French limestone flooring is one of the most sought-after types of flooring stone and Amarestone has the widest range available here in the UK.
So, if you are looking for French limestone tiles for flooring or if you need French limestone cladding or even something unique as a bespoke feature piece or simply a block of “six sides sawn”, then give us a call and speak to the experts.
For more insights, check out our blog articles on French Limestone.
French Limestone – the range:
The range includes: Ampilly, Anstrude, Aubigny, Avy, Balzac, Barutel, Beaunotte, Beauval, Bellemont, Bellemont Bleu, Bleu de Lignieres, Bois Doré Rubané, Bouzentes, Breauvigny, Bretigny, Brouzet, Buxy, Caen, Chacenay, Chamesson, Champagny, Chanceaux, Charmot, Chassagne, Chauvigny, Chitré, Chomerac, Comblanchien, Corton, Drom, Fontenay Clair, Hauteroche, Hauteville, Euville, Farges, Fontbelle, La Tieule, Ladoix, Lanvignes, Larrys, Lavoux, Legnes, Lens, Lépine, Limeyrat, Luget, Magny, Massangis, Montigny, Noyant, Petit Granit, Pouillenay, Richemont, Roche De Clermont, Roche Marron, Rocheret, Rocherons, Rocheval, Rocheville Doré, Rocheville Jaune, Romaneche, Rose de Bourgogne, Ruoms, Semond, Soignies, St Alban, St Baudille, St Croix Huyart, St Marc, St Martin, St Maximin, St Nicolas, St Pierre, St Pierre Aigle, St Remy, Savonnieres, Sebastopol, Sireuil, Souppes, Tavel, Tavel Bleu, Tercé, Tervoux, Tuffeau, Val de Nod, Valanges, Vallangis, Vassens, Vieux Monde, Vilhonneur, Villebois and many, many more.
These French limestones are also known by many different names, so if you don’t see what you are looking for, please ask.