Beer Stone – Upper Cretaceous Limestone ( lead author :WGT)
Beer Stone is a gritty-textured, bioturbated calcareous freestone which occurs near the base of the Upper Cretaceous White Chalk Sub-Group. It is known only from quarries 1.5km NW of the coastal village of Beer in SE Devon. The gritty texture of Beer Stone is not due to the presence of any angular quartz sand, it is a calcarenite comprising bivalve fragments, foraminifera and echinoderm debris. The stone is white to pale cream-coloured when fresh, becoming grey on exposure.
Beer Stone in the quarries near Beer is c.4 metres (13 feet) thick. It has been worked since Roman times and used extensively in Exeter Cathedral and Winchester Cathedral, as well as many buildings in SE Devon and SW Dorset. Although an excellent freestone for interior use it is not very durable and external weathering usually reveals trace fossils (crustacean burrows) with a crumbly white matrix.
Charmouth Parish Church (St Andrew, rebuilt 1836-8) has a Forest Marble plinth, Chert rubble walls and Beer Stone window dressings and quoins.