Abstract : We use the lattice element method to investigate stress fields at the sub-particle scale in granular solids composed of particles embedded in a cementing matrix. The stress distributions are found to be similar in 2D and 3D samples subjected to vertical loading with free lateral boundaries. We find that the number of strong forces falls off exponentially at high particle volume fractions where a percolating network of jammed particles occurs. The influence of the matrix volume fraction and particle/matrix stiffness ratio with respect to stress distribution is analyzed in 2D and 3D. We show that both decreasing the matrix volume fraction and increasing the stiffness ratio lead to increasingly broader distributions within a limit beyond which the distribution is independent of one or both of these parameters.