One of the most beautiful and interesting local historic materials found in the greater Boston built environment is what is called Roxbury Puddingstone. This is a native sandstone inlaid with granite pebbles and fragments of quartz and then metamorphosized into something hard enough to build with. Historically, it was used to build masonry walls and foundations throughout the Boston area and quarried in Roxbury, Brookline, Brighton, and Newton. In many cases, quarried is too formal a word, as the stone used was often blasted out of the building site itself, in the process of excavation.
This stone is prominently featured in many stunning and well-known historical buildings, notably Central Congregational Church, in Boston’s Back Bay. That said, once you know what it is, you can see it everywhere, in every sort of building, in rough laid retaining walls, in railroad cuts, and maybe in your own fireplace or house foundation wall. Roxbury puddingstone is the official stone of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and justifiably so. Fans of this beautiful and ubiquitous masonry building material can visit Puddingstone Park, a neighborhood park built on the site of a former puddingstone quarry in the Roxbury section of Boston.