Rubble stone is irregularly-sized, rough stone which can be used for a variety of purposes, including rubble walls, fill, and stepping stones. People have been building with this type of stone for thousands of years, and it continues to be a popular building material in regions where there are ample supplies of rough stone.
This stone is essentially the scrap left over from quarrying and processing. Rubble stone may be roughly shaped into blocks, but it is not finished, and it has a rough texture and appearance. The development of uses for rubble undoubtedly stemmed from a desire to use as much stone as possible, rather than simply discarding waste materials. Many different kinds of stone are available in the form of rubble, including granite, shale, and sandstone.
Rough fragments of rubble can be stacked together to create a wall, with or without masonry, depending on the taste of the builder. Sometimes, rubble stone is used to create a decorative facing of rough stone when a builder wants a more rustic, rough look. It is also used to fill masonry walls, with the rubble being covered by a facing of smoother, more even stone.
Rubble stone walls, fireplaces, walkways, and other features can be made with an assortment of types of stone, and pieces in various shapes and sizes. Some builders will blend colors for a more varied look, and the stone can also be blended with pieces of cut and dressed stone for more visual variation. The rough nature of this type of stone can tend to hide some of the normal variations and natural beauty of the stone, giving rubble stone features a more subtle look which is suitable for a variety of settings.
One area in which rubble is tremendously useful is landscaping. The rough stone can be used to make stepping stones or walkways in the garden, along with low walls and dividers between different landscaping features. For people who are comfortable with do it yourself projects, working with rubble stone is quite easy; firms can also be hired to arrange and place the stones. Sometimes, it is possible to obtain scraps for free or at low cost from yards where stone is worked, although these scraps tend to be especially small and rough.