Your Local… Stonemasons


Hi!  We’re Swales in the Dales, one of just a handful of stonemasons based in Yorkshire. We’re situated near beautiful Skipton – the gateway to the Dales. Funnily enough, that’s how we came up with our name!

We started our stonemasonry business in 2005 and have gone from strength to strength ever since. All our work is hand-carved using traditional methods and skills, bringing what we think is a personal touch to our customers. We make bespoke house name plaques to our customers specifications.

What is stonemasonry?Stonemason

In a nutshell, a stonemason is a person who takes lumps of rock and makes them into something useful or beautiful – or both! The lumps of rock are often made into geometric shapes and then fused together, often using mortar to form structures. Stonemasons can make incredibly complex pieces and also very simple pieces which can vary hugely in size, shape and finish.

How long have stonemasons been around?

Well, to put it another way – who do you think built the pyramids in Egypt? Stonemasons have been around ever since humans learnt to use tools and rub them together. Stone has been used to build some of the longest-lasting structures on earth – it’s a truly remarkable material! Think of the Easter Island statues, Stonehenge, the Great Wall of China. A world without stonemasons would mean no beautiful carvings in cathedrals, no headstones in graveyards, no impressive stone work in stately homes – the world just wouldn’t be the same!

How do stonemasons learn their trade?

In days gone by, stonemasons took seven years to complete their training, and quite a similar system is around today. Most stonemasons train through completing an apprenticeship, although college courses are also available. It’s a highly skilled trade and not something that can be learned overnight. Oh, and a good head for height is a must!

What sort of projects do stonemasons work on?Stonemason 2

Stonemasons work on a huge variety of projects, including reconstructing old buildings, making headstones for graves, crafting monuments and decorative pieces for cathedrals – even down to creating ornate house numbers!

Stonemasons often find themselves repairing existing buildings as well as creating structures from scratch.

What can I use a stonemason for?

Here at Swales in the Dales we do a huge variety of work, including date stones, pet memorials, headstones, cremation tablets, restoration work and much more.

To find out more about stonemasonry visit our site at



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