Materials used down the centuries are oak, walnut, mahogany, and pine woods, either carved, inlaid or if plain relying on the colour, figuring and grain of the wood for decorative emphasis. Stone was used from earliest times frequently for massive chimneypieces for castles, also plain, carved or inlaid and combined with wood elements .Portland, Bathstone & Cotswold stones were frequently used in Southern England. Marble from ancient times was used for the richest and most sophisticated designs in Europe from the 17th century onwards. Highly prized pure white Statuary marble from North Western Italy was quarried by the Romans in Antiquity to the Michael Angelo era. Still today there is a quarry named after him. Other exotic marble was found in the Pyrenees, Africa, Turkey and Greece. Metal in the form of cast iron or steel was used with brass or copper features for decoration. Decorative Ceramic mantels were and are highly prized in Italy France and England where they were made until the late 19th century.