Dorset stone carving and masonry

The late Mark 'Billy' Lillywhite

Billy trained at Weymouth College - indisputably the UK’s foremost training course for stonemasons - from 1999 to 2000, in stone masonry, carving and letter cutting.

He became self-employed in 2000, working on private stonework commissions and frequently as a sub- contractor working for Cliveden Conservation Workshops, which was founded in 1982, originally for the preservation of the National Trust buildings and statuary.

His training as a carver of decorative stonework and sculpture continued under the supervision of the sculptors Tim Lees and Harry Brockway on several projects, both private and on behalf of Cliveden.

Over the last 14 years, his work was largely centred on producing new carved stonework and masonry for historic buildings, both in the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

Some of the more prestigious projects he was involved with were on behalf of Cliveden. These included –

  • statuary and carving for Linlithgow Palace, in Scotland;
  • carving Corinthian capitals for the restoration of Stowe House, Buckinghamshire (the home of Stowe School);
  • working in a team to produce a pair of coats of arms for Stowe House;
  • restoration of the stonework of the Elizabethan doorcase at Charlecote Park, near Warwick.

Other projects took him to Windsor Castle, Westminster Abbey, Belton House and Kensington Palace.

Thanks to Trevor Proudfoot, Conservation Advisor to the National Trust, Billy had the privilege of two seasons assisting with the conservation of stonework at the ruined Roman city of Aphrodisias in Turkey, an ongoing archæological project run by New York University.

Most recently, he co-managed and worked on the restoration of the Queens College library, Oxford, producing new sculpted heads and limbs for the weathered Tympanum frieze.

He also carved neo-classical urns for the newly restored Dumfries house, on behalf of Stephen Pettifer of Coade Stone Ltd.

Other recent projects included the production of new decorative carving for the restoration of Taplow court in Buckinghamshire and the production of a new large tracery window for Millham Street Church, in Christchurch, Dorset.

He was passionate about stone carving and equally enjoyed working on large restoration projects or small private commissions.

Dorset stone carving and masonry work