Monday, December 31


Yesterday, in front of The War Museum and some Portland stone.

How can I forget one of our early Saturdays when Sonnet and I toured Trafalgar Square to study this noble rock? It was us and the Old Age Pensioners, for sure.

For those who wish to wonder: Portland stone is limestone from the Jurassic period quarried on the Isle of Portland, Dorset. The quarries include white-grey limestone separated by chert beds. The limestone is lovingly extracted by hard toil and tears and is used extensively throughout the UK - notably in major public buildings in London such as St Paul's and Buckingham Palace.

It is also exported: Portland stone is the United Nations in New York, for example. Further, all gravestones for British soldiers killed in the First and Second World Wars are made out of Portland stone. However these began to weather and detail such as the regimental badges were becoming difficult to view and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission began to use botticino a white marble limestone from about 1998. Three main "Portland Beds" are quarried. The Base and Whitebed are fine textured and contain few fossil remains, and so are popular for high quality work (the fossils may be otherwise visible. The Roach bed is rougher with many visible fossils - we ooh and ahh at the clam shells visible in the columns of St. Martins in the Fields Church.