In the 19th century, Britain boasted approximately 850 active sandstone quarries. In Glasgow, the majority of the city’s old and historic buildings are constructed from either red or blonde sandstone, exemplifying the rich architectural heritage of the area.

Blonde Sandstone: Blonde sandstone, prevalent in Glasgow’s historic buildings, was predominantly quarried in and around the city during the 18th and 19th centuries. Local quarries in Bishopbriggs and Giffnock provided much of the blond sandstone used in construction before 1890. Originating from the Carboniferous period when Scotland was located near the equator, this sandstone type reflects a distinctive architectural charm.

Red Sandstone: Following the establishment of the railway network post-1890, red sandstone sourced from quarries in Dumfries and Ayrshire became more accessible and cost-effective for construction projects in Glasgow. Formed during the Permian period over 270 million years ago, red sandstone boasts a distinctive hue attributed to an iron-rich coating on the sand grains.

Reasons for Using Different Sandstone Colors: The choice between red and blonde sandstone for building construction in Glasgow was influenced by several factors. While blonde sandstone was initially favored due to its local availability and demand, the depletion of smaller quarries and the development of a rail network facilitated the importation of red sandstone from larger quarries in Ayrshire and Dumfriesshire. Notably, red sandstone was found to be more durable and less prone to impurities compared to blonde sandstone, enhancing its suitability for construction purposes.

Current Quarry Status: None of the original quarries used for Glasgow’s construction remains operational today. Contemporary repairs and maintenance involving blonde sandstone often require sourcing from quarries in North England, ensuring color consistency with existing structures.

Stonework Maintenance: Given the varied origins and compositions of sandstone used in Glasgow’s buildings, maintenance requirements can differ based on factors such as quarry location and stone quality. Proper upkeep and repair of sandstone buildings demand the expertise of trained stonemasons familiar with the intricacies of sandstone restoration.

Our Expertise: At Balmore Specialist Contracts, we boast over 35 years of experience in repairing sandstone buildings across Glasgow and its environs. Our comprehensive understanding of sandstone types and their maintenance needs positions us as leaders in the field. We have been entrusted with numerous significant historic building restoration projects and Grade A Listed Buildings, reflecting our commitment to preserving Glasgow’s architectural heritage.

Learn More: If you reside in a sandstone property in Glasgow and seek guidance on maintaining its stonework for future preservation, don’t hesitate to contact us at 0141 944 6100 or via email at