The Guild of Master Craftsmen

Photo of square edged Portland limestone steps

Portland Stone Steps

Portland Stone is a Jurassic period limestone quarried on the Isle of Portland in Dorset. It is a highly characteristic stone, white-grey in colour with varying levels of fossil content depending on the bed from which it has been quarried.


Portland Stone has been used as a masonry material for buildings for many years. Examples in London include the Cenotaph in Whitehall, The British Museum and Westminster Abbey.


Infographic showing comparative stone colours

Above: The range of stone colours commonly available,  

shown when wet and when dry. Click to enlarge.

Suitability For Steps

Portland Stone, as Yorkstone, is diamond sawn and non-slip making it a highly suitable building material for entrance steps. Although it is not as hard wearing as Yorkstone it will still last for many decades; many Edwardian properties still have their original Portland stone steps intact.


Natural features within the stone should be expected as a matter of course. They include the fossilised remains of sea creatures and calcified water lines, both of which add structural integrity and character to the stone. It is possible to select relatively featureless stones, but this is regarded as a premium service and must be requested.


Please contact us to arrange a site visit or quotation.

Portland Stone Care and Maintenance Guide

Square edged Portland Stone Steps

Above: a finished flight of Portland Stone steps in London. Portland steps were often produced as wedges, as above, rather than separate tread and riser units. A rounded bullnose can be added to the wedges of stone, or the edges can be left square as in the photograph.