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House on Westray, Orkney, with flagstone roof
Portage Park in Chicago is known for the flagstone decoration all over its grounds
Lauze stone in Lannion (Brittany)

Flagstone, or flag, is a type of flat stone, usually used for paving slabs, but also for making fences or roofing. It may also be used for making memorials or headstones in a cemetery. It also refers to Pennsylvania Bluestone, a stone from northeastern Pennsylvania and the southern tier of New York.


Flagstone is a sedimentary rock that is cut or split in layers for walkways and patios. It has a mineral composition of quartz and up to 15% Muscovite Mica, which gives it its bluish hue. Flagstone is form of a sandstone, which means it composes of up to 50% quartz and is arenaceous in grain size (1/16th - 2mm in diameter).

The material that binds flagstone is usually composed of silica, calcium, or iron oxide. The color of the rock usually comes from the cementing material. Typical colors of flagstone are red, blue, buff, and there are exotic colors like chocolate. It is often used for patios, walkways, steps, fences, housing, fireplaces, and many construction projects.

Flagstone in medieval European architecture

Interior rooms of castles and other structures often used flagstones as flooring materials. Numerous examples of buildings in Europe may be found that have surviving rooms of this form. For example, Lindisfarne Castle in England and Muchalls Castle (14th century) in Scotland have such flooring components.


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