Binny Sandstone is one of only a few sandstones imported from the Edinburgh area. It is a Carboniferous sandstone (part of the West Lothian Oil Shale Formation) with a very distinctive mineralogy because it contains bitumen and iron carbonate minerals. Binny is fine to medium-grained and in its fresh state is grey or buff in appearance. However because of its mineralogy darker rusty brown/black streaks may commonly be seen.
Binny Sandstone tends to soil rapidly in urban environments because of the presence of bitumen and even after cleaning its colour will change from grey to orange or light brown. Quarrying of Binny Sandstone finished at the end of the 19th Century however one quarry was temporarily re-opened in the late 1990’s to provide replacement stone for the Scott Monument, Edinburgh.