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Stone Columns

Typically, a stone column is a structural element that provides an impressive façade and supports the bearing load from the top to the bottom of the structure. Columns are also known to have a central shaft that is round in section. Classical columns were generally constructed from stone, usually derived from the architecture of Rome and Ancient Greece.

Column Components

Traditionally, a stone column consists of a base, a shaft and a capital.


The lowest part of a column, Egyptian and Greek Doric columns were typically placed directly on the floor without a base. However, Ionic columns contained an elaborate base, consisting of groups of decorative strips (mouldings) and narrow bands with vertical faces (fillets). Columns can also have a square stone block for more even distribution of the column’s weight.

Shaft: This is situated between the base and the capital. Typically round solid blocks of stone but can be square cut blocks, in 1 long piece or in smaller sections.

Capital: This directly supports the weight of the ceiling, containing the uppermost column elements.

There are five basic styles of architecture that determine the form and decoration of columns;

Greek-style columns

1. Doric:

Designed to support the weight of ceilings, these columns are wider at the base than at the top, usually consisting of parallel, vertical grooves that are known as flutes. Doric Columns lacked a wide, flat stone as a base, resting directly on the temple pavement. The top section of a column has a flat, wide section called the capital.

They are usually identified by its stout columns compared to the other orders. In Greece, Doric columns rested directly on the floor without a pedestal or base moulding. Roman Doric columns tend to be slimmer and sit on an Attic base.

2. Ionic:

These columns are typically thinner and are fluted, characterised by volutes, which are a spiral, scroll-like ornament found in the capital of the Ionic column. Ionic columns also have a base as they are more slender than Doric columns.

3. Corinthian:

Corinthian columns are designed to be a stylised interpretation of a tree as they are tall, straight and slender. This ornate column style was developed in Ancient Greece, classified as one of the three classical orders of architecture. The top of the column has lavish ornamentation that is carved to resemble leaves and flowers with fluted, grooved shafts.

Roman-style columns

4. Tuscan

These unfluted columns have a simple base with an unadorned capital and entablature. Tuscan columns are plain, lacking carvings and ornaments, creating a neo-classical style. Tuscan columns have a very simple base, supporting a traditional slender shaft, which is plain and not grooved or fluted. At the top of the shaft, there is a round capital.

5. Composite:

This modern and ornate style combines the design features of Ionic and Corinthian columns. The top of a composite column has scrolls and leaf decoration. Typically, these columns consist of stone but can also be a mixture of synthetic materials.

For more information on stone columns or any of our other products, please feel free to contact us today.