Definitions

caen-stone

Caen stone

Caen stone or Pierre de Caen, is a light creamy-yellow Jurassic limestone quarried in northwestern France near the city of Caen.

It was used in the construction of the late eleventh century austere Norman Romanesque Church of Saint-Étienne, at the Abbaye-aux-Hommes (on the east side of Caen), that was founded by William the Conqueror. His tomb is located there.

The Norman Romanesque Church of La Trinité, at the Abbaye-aux-Dames (on the west side of the city), was founded by William's wife, Matilda. Her tomb is located there.

Both abbeys are beautiful structures built with Caen stone in Norman Romanesque style, and both were unscathed by an intense bombing campaign in July 1944 that destroyed much of the city.

This stone was also a popular building material with the Normans in England. It was used in both the cathedral and castle at Norwich, where it was brought by boat up the River Wensum. Caen stone was also used extensively in Canterbury cathedral. Perhaps the most famous buildings in Caen stone are Tower of London and Buckingham Palace.

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