Caroline Stanford

DPhil in Architectural History


Fired Artificial Stone in Architecture 1650-1850

Research abstract

Sculptural architectural embellishment and statuary become ubiquitous at all levels of society in the long 18th century, an infiltration enabled by fired artificial stone.  The sector came to be dominated by the renowned  businesswomen Mrs Eleanor Coade (1733-1821) and her eponymous  stoneware. My research seeks to place this so-called 'artifiicial stone' into its broader social, cutural and technical context, through the development of fired artificial stone from the first English production of stoneware in the late 17th century, through its flowering under architects like Soane, Wyatt and Adam, to its disappearance as a material in the mid 19th century. 

Beyond its main architectural focus, fired artificial stone provides a fresh lens through which to examine many aspects of social and cultural history of the period: collecting and display, both elite and middling; the strange ubiquity of sculpture in the 18thC; forms of ornamentation and the human form; women in business; the relationship between artists and manufacturers; the dissemination, evolution and replication of antique forms, and technical innovation.


Dr Geoffrey Tyack

Professor Malcolm Airs


I read Modern History at Jesus College, Oxford (1977) and hold an MA from Birkbeck College London in Early Modern History (specialising in the History of Science & Ideas) and an MSc in Historic Conservation from Oxford Brookes. I have worked for building preservation charity the Landmark Trust as their in-house historian (and latterly Head of Engagement) since 2001 and have wide experience researching and participating in their high-profile restoration projects and in the heritage sector. I write and speak widely for Landmark, and much of my research on their buildings is available on their website and in their publications. My interest in Coade and artifiical stone began with working on her seaside villa, Belmont in Lyme Regis. See 

Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.

DPhil commenced 2018, Transfer of Status April 2020.


'"The mistery of Cologne or Stone wares": were John Dwight and Robert Hooke pioneers in the use of fired artificial stone in architecture?', Georgian Group Journal, XXVIII, 2020.

'James Wyatt's Ornamental Dairy at Cobham Hall, Kent', Georgian Group Journal, XXVIII, 2020.

'Revisiting the Origins of Coade Stone', Georgian Group Journal, Vol. XXIV, 2016.

Landmark: A History of Britain in 50 Buildings, co-authored with Dr Anna Keay, 2015.

Papers and lectures

'Cobham Dairy: A Case Study in Wyatt Family Collaboration' (Lecture, Georgian Group, September 2020)

‘"Employed by many of the Nobility and first Architects in the Kingdom": Eleanor Coade & Horace Walpole’s Gothic Gateway at Strawberry Hill.' (Georgian Group Symposium, September 2019).


Research interests

Material culture 

Architectural history

History of sculpture