Building stones give local character to towns and villages
The traditional building stone used in each town or village in the East Lothian and Borders regions closely reflects the geology of the underlying rocks, simply because the local material would be the first choice of the stone masons.
In later years as improved transport made distant sources more accessible, the local stone was used increasingly with an imported dressed sandstone (ashlar) for the corners (quoins) and round doors and windows (jambs).
More recently, any stone used for building has been imported from the few quarries still active outside the region, all the local ones having closed.
Some buildings constructed over many centuries, such as the Lamp of the Lothian in Haddington, show several differing episodes in their walls. Smailholm Tower, near Kelso, has an attractive contrast between the rough black dolerite from the crags upon which it sits and the dressed red sandstone round the windows.