Eleanor Coade and her Remarkable Stone
Eleanor Coade was a successful Georgian entrepreneur who created artificial stone for use in monuments, which she called Coade stone. Inventing the recipe and the firing technique, Mrs. Coade bought an existing artificial stone factory in South London in 1769 and turned out Coade stone architectural detailing, urns, tombs, and statues for the next 50 years.
She combined artistic flair with successful marketing skills and every architect of the time including Robert Adam, Sir John Soane, John Nash, and James and Samuel Wyatt commissioned her work for their projects. Her manufactory’s output was mostly classical in style, but also produced wares in Gothic, Egyptian, and Chinese styles. Mrs. Coade’s genius lay in her entrepreneurship—convincing designers that her product was better than natural stone for its durability and weatherproof nature.
In an era, when successful businesswomen were far from typical, Eleanor Coade was exceptional. Many examples of Coade stone made during and after the inventor’s lifetime remain in the UK and beyond, including the South Bank lion at the east end of Westminster Bridge The Landmark Trust’s historian, Caroline Stanford will talk about this successful 18th-century business woman and her business practice.
She will illustrate how Coade stone transformed late-Georgian architecture, including its use in America. She will also feature Belmont, Coade’s own villa, rescued and restored by the Landmark Trust and available to rent.