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ESEU - gravestones guide

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Some rock types used

Different environments

Responses to weathering

Balmoral Red Granite

Balmoral Red Granite from Scandinavia

newest, unvegetated part The newest, unvegetated part, still used for interments oxidadtion Chemical (oxidation) weathering in a broken Cornish granite
Red granite in close-up Red granite in close-up between the 1880s and the 1950s

The part used between the 1880s and the 1950s, with planted trees

Trees forcing apart gravestones Trees forcing apart gravestones
Peterhead Granite Peterhead Granite containing a metamorphosed fragment of an older rock The overgrown Victorian part

The overgrown Victorian part

The mason adding a new name The mason adding a new name to a weathered marble slab
Larvikite Larvikite - an iridescent igneous rock from Oslofjord

Keep your eyes open

Marble showing more weathering

Marble showing more weathering by carbonate-solution on the top surface than on the vertical surface

Carrara Marble Carrara Marble with lead lettering flush with the marble surface Henry Clifton Sorby, Henry Clifton Sorby, a famous Victorian geologist - spot the rock types! "Spalling" "Spalling" on the East face of a sandstone slab
Gneiss

Gneiss

local sandstone tells of family tragedy A local sandstone tells of family tragedy in earlier eras undamaged West face The undamaged West face of the same slab
red gneiss

A red gneiss in close-up showing mineral banding

An unfortunate accident An unfortunate accident...

For worksheets describing Earth science teaching activities for graveyards:

  • follow the links to the ESEU "Will my gravestone last? worksheet (pdf file)
  • visit the JESEI website for a similar description of activities together with a pdf sheet illustrating common rock types
Sandstone from the Millstone Grit series

Sandstone from the Millstone Grit series of Derbyshire

All photos by Peter Kennett

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