Corsehill Sandstone

Technical Data Sheet
Corsehill Sandstone
Annan, Dumfriesshire, Scotland
Dunhouse Quarry Works, Staindrop Darlington,
County Durham DL2 3QU,England
Contact : Dunhouse Quarry Ltd
Tel. +44 (0) 1833 660 208; +44 (0) 1833 660 749
FAX +44 (0) 1833 660 748
Email : [email protected]
Web site :
Grid reference : NY 207 703
Compiled September 2000

This data sheet was compiled by the Building Research Establishment (BRE). It is based on data from tests carried out by Sandbergs (1994), Stangers (1986), collated BRE data and from current tests at BRE. The data sheet was compiled in May 2000. The work was carried out by BRE Environment as part of a Partners in Technology Programme funded by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions and Dunhouse Quarry Co. Ltd and does not represent an endorsement of the stone by BRE.

The quarry, near Annan, was reopened in 1982 having closed in 1946. There are good stocks of stone. Prior to closure Corsehill had been used throughout the last century. Stone is extracted from a 15m face and is available at depths of up to 1.2m on bed although 900mm is the average size. Exceptionally good lengths of up to 3m are obtainable.


1) Macroscopic
Corsehill is from the New Red Sandstone of Triassic age. It is a fine-grained stone, pale red-brown, slightly calcareous, slightly calcareous sandstone.

2) Microscopic
The stone is composed of detrital quartz, opaline silica, feldspars and occasional mica crystals all with a reddened feruginous clay coating. Iron minerals are abundant as both black and brown haematite. The rock fragments are dominated by polycrystalline chert and mudstone grains. Some samples show altered quartz grains with iron oxide and other alteration products in the pore spaces. Coarser samples appear to be less altered with silica cement more prominent.

Expected Durability and Performance
It is important that the results from the from individual tests are not viewed in isolation. They should be considered together and compared to the performance of the stone in existing buildings and other uses. Sandstone from the New Red Sandstone series are traditionally acknowledged as generally being a very durable building and paving stone and have been used extensively in many towns and cities in the UK. Corsehill sandstone appears to be a durable stone that is not effected by acid rain or air pollution. However, the moderate weight loss in the sodium sulphate crystallisation test indicates limited resistance to salt damage under normal conditions and the high weight loss in the harsher saturated sodium sulphate test indicates susceptibility to salt damage in harsh environments (for example in coastal locations or from de-icing salts). The compressive strength of the stone is towards the lower end of the range for sandstone but is comparable with stronger limestones. The flexural strength is towards the lower end of the range for sandstone and if used for paving then the units may need to be thicker than those for some other sandstones.

Overall, Corsehill should be suitable for use in most aspects of construction including flooring, paving, load bearing masonry and cladding caution should be used in areas where a long service life is needed and there are high salt concentrations.

Test Results – Corsehill

in Use
Slip Resistance (Note 1)


Wet Values > 40 are considered
Abrasion Resistance
(Note 1)

Not Tested

Values <23.0 are considered
suitable for use in heavily trafficked
under load
1) Compression(Note 2)

67.6 MPa

Loaded perpendicular to the
bedding plane ambient humidity
2) Bending (Note 1)

5.7 MPa

Loaded perpendicular to the
bedding plane
ambient humidity

Not Tested

Loaded perpendicular to the
bedding plane
ambient humidity
and Water Absorption
1) Porosity (Note 3)


2) Saturation Coefficient (Note 3)


3) Water Absorption

10.1 % (by wt)

4) Bulk specific gravity


Resistance to Frost 
strength after
Freeze/Thaw Test (Note 1)

8.6 MPa

Loaded perpendicular
to the bedding plane
ambient humidity
to Salt
Sodium Sulphate Crystallisation Test
(Note 3)

3.83% Mean wt loss

Sodium Sulphate Crystallisation Test
(Note 14) (saturated)

92% Mean wt loss

Resistance to Acidity 
Acid Immersion Test(Note 4)


(Test methods Note 1 = EN1341, Note 2 = EN 1342, Note 3 = EN 1341 /BRE 141, Note 4 = BRE 141, Note 5 = based on earlier BRE data)

Tests were carried out at BRE in 1997. N.D. = not determined

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