Containing around 16,000 specimens, the Building Stone Collection is one of the largest documented collections of its kind in the UK. It contains a huge variety of UK and European rocks, many of which can no longer be collected.
The historical context of the collection makes it particularly useful for matching stone in historical buildings about to be conserved.
In 1834 a massive fire destroyed the Palace of Westminster. This initiated a survey of all UK building stone quarries to find suitable stone for the rebuild, marking the beginning of the Building Stone Collection.
The collection also contains building stones exhibited at the 1852 and 1862 Great Exhibitions.