U is for Umbrello

The Umbrello is a gothic temple folly which stands beside the lake at Great Saxham Hall. It is Grade II listed and dates from the early 19th century. It is an important architectural structure and is one of only a few remaining garden buildings constructed of Coade stone.

Umbrello, Saxham Hall, nd (K505/1274)

Umbrello, Saxham Hall, nd (K505/1274)

Coade stone is an extremely hardwearing, weather resistant ‘artificial’ ceramic like stone which was first marketed in the early 1770s. Architects of the day, such as Robert Adam found this stone was excellent when applying fine detail to their work.  Coade stone, also referred to as fortified clay, is made up of grog, crushed flint, fine quartz, crushed soda lime glass and ball clay.

Grog is a ceramic raw material which has a high percentage of silica and alumina; silica is commonly found in nature as quartz and in various living organisms.

Ball clay is a valuable natural mineral, being found only in Devon and Dorset, it was formed some 30 million years ago.

The combination of all the ingredients, after kneading were inserted into a kiln and fired for 4 days at 1,100 degrees.