Last edited 30 Oct 2020


Knapped stonework was often used for important buildings constructed during Norman and Saxon periods. One example is the Norwich Guildhall, built in the 1400s. The east end (pictured above) illustrates an example of smooth, checquerboard (or diaper) flushwork of knapped flint and light limestone. The stones are square-knapped to such a degree that galetting was not required - neither was mortar.

Knapping is a technique used to shape flint (or other stone with similar characteristics). The purpose of knapping is to split the stone and make it into flat squares or other distinct shapes for decorative purposes.

The residual flakes of stone that are created as a result of knapping are sometimes saved and used to fill spaces and protect any exposed mortar. This technique is known as galetting.

In the case of knapped flint, the technique highlights the smooth black surface of flint, which can be framed in limestone. This treatment is called flushwork. Flushwork is the decorative use of knapped flint in conjunction with dressed stone to form patterns.

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