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Marraum Architects25-Jan-2024 16:18:003 min read


In the heart of Cornwall, where the sea meets the sky and the past intertwines with the future, our homes stand as a testament to a rich architectural tapestry. At Marraum, we understand that every stone, beam and pane of glass tells a story. This blog delves into the essence of Cornish homes, exploring the symphony of materials that shape them. 


What materials are houses in Cornwall made of?

Houses in Cornwall have historically been constructed using locally sourced materials, primarily due to their availability and suitability to the local climate. The traditional Cornish cottage, a quintessential feature of the region's landscape, is commonly built using granite, a hardy and weather-resistant natural stone. Granite is abundantly available in Cornwall, making it a practical choice for builders for centuries. The roofs are typically made of slate, another locally sourced material, known for its durability and ability to withstand the region's often harsh weather conditions.

In addition to these, cob (a mixture of clay, sand, straw, and water) has been historically used for constructing walls. This eco-friendly material offers excellent insulation properties and is part of Cornwall's vernacular architecture. The use of these materials not only reflects the region’s geological makeup but also demonstrates a historical preference for using natural, locally available resources.




What stone is used for building in Cornwall?

Granite is the most prominently used stone in Cornish building. This hard, igneous rock is known for its strength, durability, and resistance to weathering, making it an ideal material for the exposed climate of Cornwall. The color of Cornish granite varies from light gray to pink, depending on its mineral composition, which can vary throughout the region. This variability not only offers aesthetic diversity but also allows buildings to reflect their local geological context.

The use of granite in Cornwall dates back centuries and can be seen in a range of structures, from ancient standing stones and historic churches to traditional cottages and boundary walls. Its enduring popularity is a testament to its suitability for the local environment and its timeless aesthetic appeal.


What materials are used to build modern buildings?

Modern buildings in Cornwall, while continuing to use traditional materials like granite and slate, are increasingly incorporating a variety of contemporary materials. These include structural steel, glass, and sustainable timber, as well as innovative, eco-friendly materials like green roofing systems and recycled building components.

Structural steel is valued for its strength and flexibility, allowing for creative designs that can include larger spans and open-plan spaces. Glass is used extensively to maximize natural light and to connect the interior with the surrounding landscape, a feature particularly desirable in Cornwall's picturesque settings. Sustainable timber is another popular choice, offering both environmental benefits and a natural aesthetic that complements the region's landscape.

In addition to these, modern building practices in Cornwall are increasingly focused on sustainability. This includes the use of energy-efficient materials, incorporation of renewable energy sources like solar panels, and the implementation of rainwater harvesting systems. These practices not only align with global environmental goals but also cater to a growing consumer demand for sustainable and energy-efficient homes.


At Marraum, we believe our homes are not just structures; they are a celebration of the land, a canvas for creativity, and a sanctuary for those who dwell within. As we continue to design and build, we carry forward this legacy, crafting spaces that resonate with stories, echo with character, and sing with the possibilities of the future. Get in touch with our team to discover the possibilities of your own space


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