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are constructed of a black marble with white
shells, but both of a dull lustre, the quarries of
which are still known to exist at no great distarice.
Of the black shell marble there are also tombs in
the abbey of Melrose, probably from the same
quarry with those of Durham. The marble of the
north of Scotland is chiefly primitive.

A fine black marble, with white shells, is found
near Bristol, where it is used for chimney-pieces.
A similar, it is believed, occurs in Derbyshire.

* Da Costa, p. 213, says the peacock's eye is a beautiful marble,
of a bright cinnabar colour, with spots and veins of milk white
spar : many of the spots form circles about the size of a sixpence,
filled with a red ground j and which, from an imaginary resem-
blance, have conferred the name. It takes a high polish, but is
generally much cracked or flawed. It must not be confounded
with the pavonazz&s or purple.

2 E 2


Purbeck boasts a marble, of which the shells form
grey, blue, and white circles.

But the marble chiefly used in OUT ancient ca-
thedrals and churches, was that of Petworth in
Sussex, which is thus described by Woodward :
Petworth. Marble, from Petworth, Sussex. The ground
grey, with a cast of green. Tis very thick set in
all parts of it. with shells, chiefly turbinated.
Some of them seem to be of that sort of river shell
that Dr. Lister, Hist. Cochlear. Angl. p. 133,
calls cochlea maxima, fasca sive nigricans, fas-
ciata. Several of the shells are filled with a
white spar, which variegates and adds to the
beauty of the stone. That spar was cast in the
shell before this was reposited in the mass of
marble, as is demonstrable from a view of this and
other like masses. Conf. Nat. Hist, of the EartJi,
part IV. consect 2, p. 181, et seqq. second Edit.
This is of about the hardness of the white Ge-
noese marble.

" The slender round scapi of the pillars of the
Abbey Church in Westminster, and of the Temple
Church, are of this sort of marble. So likewise
are those of the Cathedral Church of Salisbury,
as I remember; and my Lord Pembroke assures
me positively they are. Some persons that are
less skilful in these matters, fancy these scapi,


that occur in most of the larger Gothick buildings
of England, are artificial ; and will have it, that
they are a kind of fusil marble, cast in cylindrick
moulds. Any one, who shall confer the grain of
the marble of those pillars, the spar, and the
shells in it, with those of this marble got in Sus-
sex, will soon discern how little ground there is
for this opinion: and yet it has prevailed very
generally. I met with several instances of it as I
travelled through England ; and had frequent op-
portunities of showing those who asserted these
pillars to be factitious, stone of the very same sort
with that they were composed of, in the neighbour-
ing quarries. Camden* had entertained the same
notion of those vast stones of Stone-Henge ; but
is fully refuted by Inigo Jones f." J

Da Costa mentions a black coralic marble,
from Wales, with madrepores an inch or two in
length, like half a crown when cut across. It is,
he says, very beautiful, and the tomb of Sir Tho-
mas Gresham, in the church of Great St. Helen's,
is formed of it. He confounds it with the Kil-
kenny marble, which he says is much used in Lon-

" * In his Britannia, p. p5.
" f Stone-Henge restored, p. 33."

% Wood ward's English Fossils, i, 20. The marble of Bethersden
in Kent was also noted.


don, and which contains white sparry casts of
shells, both turbinated and bivalve*.

The Derbyshire marble, of a pale ash colour,
full of entrochi, was much used in London for
tables and chimney-pieces f.

Good marble is found in the side of Bowfell, in
the West Riding of Yorkshire, being grey, with
entrochites : it is manufactured at Kendal, and is
in great demand at Manchester and Liverpool.
Bowfell is one of the highest mountains in En-
gland, and sends waters into both seas. It is
about thirty miles in circuit J.

French. France abounds in conchitic marbles. The
red of Givet, containing entrochi, rather belongs
to the Zoophytic structure. The department of
Aube shows a grey marble, almost formed of little
shells, and some large ammonites. Red, with
white circles, being transverse sections of shells,
from the neighbourhood of Brest. The white spots
in the beautiful red griotte sometimes wear a shelly
aspect . The greyish brown of Langres. Deep

* That supposed from Wales is in fact the same with that of
Durham, as appears from Gresham's tomb.

f Da Costa, p. 232, &c.

J Parkinson, Organic Remains, vol. ii.

Brard says that the red spots on the griotte are shells, of which
the outline is marked in black, p. 369 : this is from the department
of Herault.


black, with white belemnites, from Narbonne.
The black marbles of Flanders. The pearl grey
of Nonette in Auvergne, in which the screw-shells ,

are changed into silex, but easily polished.

In Italy, some churches of Lucca, Pisa, and Ital y*
Florence, are decorated with a brick red marble,
containing white ammonites. The modern ochio
di pavone, or peacock's tail, presents round spots,
whitish, bluish, or red, being shells cut across.
There is also a very pale yellow, with small shells,
changed into white transparent spar.

Spain offers the conchitic marble of Grenada Spain,
and Cordova, of a deep red with white shells ; and
that of Biscay, of a deep black, with shells of a
splendid white. The pale yellow of Portugal, as
already mentioned, presents marine bodies.

The marbles of Swisserland, Germany, and the Germany, &c.
northern regions, often belong to this description ;
but if there were not some striking singularity, it
would be unnecessary to enter much into the spe-
cification. Those of Basel have astroites and
coralites ; of Brunswick, Franconia, &c. belem-
nites, ammonites, and cochlites ; of Sweden, ortho-



Of this the ancients appear to have made no
use, though it sometimes presents varieties at once
uncommon and beautiful. A fine kind, easily had
of the marble-cutters at Paris, is of a chocolate
brown, with white madrepores of all sizes and
descriptions, beautifully variegated with grey and
Of Caen. re fi t This is the celebrated marble of Caen, in
Normandy, which may be called the madrepore
marble by way of eminence, and of which beauti-
ful tables and other ornaments abound in that
capital ; even those of the traiteur, in the garden
of the Tuilleries, being of exquisite elegance and

" The marble of Caen is of a dull red, and it
has large veins or branches of a grey or white co-
lour, which are solely composed of madrepores,
distinctly perceptible, either in the forui of stars,
or that of diverging branches. This is then by
excellence a madrepore marble.

" Its quarries are in the neighbourhood of Caen,
and although it be rather coarse and common, it
is much used at Paris, either for the tops of com-
modes, or for chimney-pieces, c. There are
tables of it in most of the coffee-houses of Paris;
and it is known in commerce by the name of Caen


marble. It somewhat resembles that of Lan-
giledoc; but is more cloudy, and less lively in its
colour, and does not take near so fine a polish."*

Another singular zoophytic marble occurs in
France, the ground being a wine red, with spots
of dull white and green; the latter being itself
calcareous, which is far from common. It is in-
terspersed with fragments of madrepores, and
other zoophytes, of a delicate bright red. It is
probably from the south of France.

The deep red marble of Givet, with light veins
or spots, contains white fragments of entrochi.
That of Charlemont is veined with white and red,
with white spots of madrepore.

The beautiful marble of Languedoc, or St. st.Baume.
Baume, is of a fiery red, mingled with white and
grey, disposed in convolved zones. Some say that
the white and grey parts are formed by madre-
pores. The eight columns which decorate the
new triumphal arch, in the Carrousel at Paris,
are of this marble, which is one of the finest of

The grey marble of Mons contains entrochi.
It is properly an orsten, as on friction it yields a
nauseous smell. The department of Calais fur-

* Brard, 362. That of Canne, here alluded to, is a griotte of a
deep red, spotted with white, according to Patrin.


nishes a deep red marble, with grey spots, of
zoophytic remains. The marble of St. Anne, in
the neighbourhood of Namur, on a deep grey
base, presents white zoophytic spots : that of Thi-
laire is similar ; and that of Leff is pale red, with
white fragments of madrepores.

The starry marble of Italy is light grey or white,
and seems to be entirely composed of zoophytic

Swiss. At Roche, a league beyond Aigle, is a quarry

of a handsome marble, veined with red, white,
grey, and black. It is polished on the spot, and
is much used at Geneva, and the Pays de Vaud ;
nor is it unknown even at Lyons. Polished tables
of this marble present beautiful madrepores, and
some shells, chiefly pectenites ; but they have
assumed the nature and grain of the marble, and
the shell seldom or never appears in its original
form *.




There is a stone universally employed in Distinction,
architecture, and which may be regarded as
intermediate between marble and limestone.
It appears to have been the freestone of the Freestone,
middle ages, called ashler when only roughly
hewn ; and is also the freestone of Woodward,
and many other writers of mineralogy. Mr.
Parkinson has recently confirmed the justice of
this appellation, by informing us that " free-
stone is a compact limestone, of an earthy frac-

Yet many late writers have inaccurately ap-
plied the term freestone to a very different sub-
stance, using it as synonymous with sandstone,
chiefly indeed with a calcareous cement; though
it has also been extended to the argillaceous,
and even to the siliceous. The reason given for
the name is, that such a stone may be worked
in any direction ; nay, Doctor Kidd informs us
" that sandstones which yield readily to the
chisel, and hence called siliceous freestones, are
used in masonry." If the term were thus ex-
tended, it might also be applied to granite, which
is used in many countries for the commonest



habitations. Even calcareous sandstone can
scarcely be called a freestone, as it often re-
quires to be placed in the original direction of
its layers in the quarry, else it will moulder in
the air; which is also the case with some lime-
stones employed in the public buildings at Ox-
ford, and which therefore can scarcely be called

The freemasons of the middle ages, who ap-
pear to have been the successors of the Knights
Templars, from their allusions to the temple,
the military tinge of their mysterious rites,
which formerly excited the jealousy and revenge
of monarchs, and other circumstances, appear
to have applied the name freestone from a yet
more delicate and appropriate circumstance,
namely, that it might be wrought into orna-
ments of the most minute description, such as
are observable in the cathedrals and other public
buildings, not to mention the crosses, tombs, and
other monuments, of the middle ages, which
could never be imitated in any sandstone. The
little fleurets, and other miniatures, which we
admire in the tombs and buildings of that period,
are sculptured on a stone of the finest grain,
and at the same time of a softness most easily
obedient to the chisel; qualities which, if found
in any sandstone, it would soon moulder, and


the labours of the sculptor would scarcely sur-
vive his^own century*.

The original acceptation of the term being Name.
thus lost, it has of course become vague, and
ought, as in many other instances in the pro-
gress of mineralogy, to be exchanged for an-
other, strictly appropriated, and which cannot
be abused. As this rock may be regarded as
the noblest of the common limestones, and
though Greek etymons have become universal in
the science, yet the Greek words representing
limestone and silex have not hitherto been ad-
mitted, the appellation of Konite is proposed
from Kovia, which is used repeatedly for lime by
Theophrastus, especially in the last chapter of
his book on stones f.

Konite being merely a compact limestone, of Characters.
an earthy fracture, sometimes coarse and some-
times finer, for its other characters those of lime-
stone may be consulted. There is sometimes a
slight admixture of silex, often of argil, rarely of
magnesia, which however has been found by
chemical analysis in some kinds, as those em-
ployed in Westminster Abbey and the Cathedral

* Calcareous sandstone of course leaves much sand in the nitrous
acid; while konite produces none, or, in some kinds, a very small

t It might also be called Oikite, from its use in building. Tifa.vo$,
another term for lime, has been oddly applied to titan, a metal,



of York; and that fine earth must of course im-
part some of its usual qualities, of unctuous soft-
ness and durability*. By some little research it
might probably be discovered from what quar-
ries the stone used in our cathedrals, and other
ancient buildings, was procured. One kind was
Of Caen, even brought from Caen in Normandy, merely,
as would seem, because it was known to the
Norman conquerors. It is said to appear in the
posts and lintels of the castle at Rochester, and
in many other places; but the name of Caen
stone is often erroneously applied, as for instance
in the abbey of St. Alban's; while we know,
from authentic records, that the stone chiefly
Tottenhoe. employed was from the quarries of Tottenhoe,
in Bedfordshire. Not contented with the ma-
jestic appearance of konite, or genuine free-
stone, on whose soft tinge of brownish white the
eye reposes with more pleasure than on the glit-
tering splendour of marble, our ancestors in-
creased the magnificence with single or grouped
pillars of Petworth marble, drawn from quarries
now unknown, near the town of that name in
Sussex. This marble is often ignorantly called
Purbeck, while it is totally different both in co-
lours and composition. The structure of the

* See the Mode Magnesian Limestone, Domain IV,


Petworth marble is even singular, as the shells,
which are very small, seem changed as it were
into drops of spar and marble ; and the prevail-
ing tints are a faint green and reddish brown ;
while in the Purbeck the tints are a bluish grey
or ash, and a dull yellow or fawn colour; and
the shells are marked by little black lines. These *

pillars of Petworth marble adorn the cathedrals
of Canterbury and Salisbury, the Abbey Church
of Westminster, and that of St. Alban's ; not to
mention the Temple church, and Great St. He-
len's, in London ; and probably many others
might be noted. The contrast of this beautiful
marble with the konite of the rest of the edifice
must have been striking and magnificent; but
at present all is equally covered with a white or
yellowish wash, so as to recall the memory of
the vvhited sepulchre, applied in scripture to a
hypocrite; while the walls ought only to be
cleaned, and the pillars polished anew, as in
some sacred edifices of the Continent.

At present the most remarkable konite used Portland
in the southern parts of England is that of Port-
land, which is thus described by Dr. Wood-^

" Stone out of the great quarry of Portland,
of a pale or whitish colour, composed of nu-
merous small roundish grains, not unlike the


smaller ova of fishes. They split in the cutting
of the stone; so that it is capable of being
brought to a surface, very smooth and equal.
Besides, this and all like sorts of stone that are
composed of granules, will cut and rive in any
direction: as well in a perpendicular, or in a
diagonal, as horizontally and parallel to the site
of the strata. 'Tis for this reason that they have
obtained the name of freestone. Then these
bear the injuries of the weather equally and in-
differently in all positions : whereas all the stone
that is slaty, with a texture long, and parallel to
the site of the stratum, will split only length-
ways, or horizontally; and if placed in any
other ^position, 'tis apt to give way, start, and
burst, when any considerable weight is laid
upon it. Which inconvenience the Portland
stone being not liable to, cutting freely, and
being of a colour very good and agreeable, 'tis
made use of for the better buildings and works
about London."*

Da Costa calls the Portland stone an alkaline
sandstone; and, with equal error, adds that
sandstones have obtained the name of freestones
because they were cut in any direction. He
subjoins some account of the Surry stone of

* Woodward's English Fossils, 1729, i. 17.


Ryegate, and Godstone; which last is said to
have received its name because it was often used
in churches. They seem by his account to be
coarse sandstones with mica, now chiefly used
for ovens and hearths, and the like purposes.

Konite is by the French called pierre de taille, other kinds.
moello?i, &c. The Italian macigno seems an
argillaceous limestone with a little mica ; while
the travertine used in the ancient and modern
edifices of Rome strictly belongs to the cal-
careous tufas, under which it will be described.
The building stone chiefly used at Edinburgh,
especially in the beautiful new city, is from the
quarry of Craigleith, and is said to be an argil-
laceous limestone, perhaps sandstone, with black-
ish veins. The ancient Romans, whose buildings
are alike distinguished by magnificence and du-
rability, chiefly, like their successors, employed
the travertine, which abounds on the banks of
the river Anio, and is reproduced by its depo-
sitions. To the lasting nature of this stone, and
of the mortar mixed with puzzolana, which also
abounds in the neighbourhood, that is, to cir-
cumstances merely accidental, may the preserva-
tion of the common sewers, and other works of
surprising antiquity, be ascribed. But the use
of konite in building ascends even to the earliest pyramids,
ages, the pyramids of Egypt being constructed

VOL. i. 2 F



with this material; which, as already mentioned,
seems the lapis Troicus of the ancients. The
Egyptian konite, which forms a whole chain of
mountains, extending from Cairo and the front
of the pyramids, far to the south, is sometimes
simple, and sometimes contains shells, chiefly
nummulites, which, when cut across, resemble
grains of wheat or barley ; whence the fable of
the ancients, that the workmen employed re-
ceived sueh vast quantities of grain, that much
of it was left and petrified. Some of the most
ancient edifices of Persia, Greece, and Italy,
are also built with konite 5 but the ruins of Poes-
turn, and the temple of Agrigentum, are of cal-
careous tufa.

In general, writers on mineralogy, while they
are often occupied with laborious trifles, seem
strangers to the chief object, which is the utility
of the substances. Brongniart, the director of
the porcelain manufacture at Sevres, and accus-
tomed to consider objects as adapted to the pur-
poses of human life and manners, has sometimes
deviated into utility; and his account of the
konite thus becomes interesting.
Brongniart's This substance is the chaux carbonatte


grossiere of Haiiy, and is commonly called pierre
a bdtir, pier re de taille, and moellon. The tex-
ture is often loose, and the grain coarse. It


is easily cut with any sharp instrument, but
does not receive any polish. The fracture
is granular and dull; as are also the colours,
which are white, grey, and Isabella yellow.
The kinds differ greatly in the fineness of their
grain, in colours, and duration ; but these dif-
ferences only influence their use for distinct
purposes, and do not depend upon their original

<c Some have a very fine grain, and a whitish
colour; hut have little hardness, and cannot be
employed except in sculpture. Such are the
stone of Tonnerre, in the department of Yonne;
and one of those quarried at Nanterre, near
Paris; not to mention other examples.

" Others have a coarser grain, while their
colour is yellowish ; and they are tender and
friable. Such are the stone of Conflans Ste. Ho-
norine, near Paris, of which the beds are some-
times two yards in thickness; and that of St.
Leu and Trossy, in the department of Oise ; the
beds of the latter being only a yard thick.

" In fine, others, though of a very loose tex-
ture, and of a very coarse and visible grain,
although even composed of calcareous sand and
agglutinated fragments of shells, &c. possess
nevertheless great hardness and solidity; such
as the stone of Saillancourt, near Pontoise, the

2 F 2


beds of which are so thick that the quarry seems
cut into one mass. It is reserved for bridges
and highways*.

" This rock seems exclusively to belong to
the depositions of coarse sediment, which are
far from the primitive mountains, and which
approach the alluvial territory. Although it
present beds of great thickness and extent, it
never forms mountains, but only round hills, of
'which the skirts sometimes display pretty high
precipices. It forms the base of many plains,
such as in France the plains to the south of
Paris, those in the neighbourhood of Caen, and

" The beds of this rock are very distinct,
being horizontal, rarely inclined, never convo-
luted nor bent, and commonly divided by clay,
marl, or sand. There are sometimes seen, be-
tween them, infiltrated geods of quartz and cal-
careous spar, as at Neuilly, near Paris; or thin
layers of keralite or flint, interspersed with
shells* as at St. Cloud and Sevres.

" These beds vary much in thickness; and it
may be observed, that they are thicker in the
soft kinds than in the hard. The latter is often
in such thin layers that it is used in some coun-

* One stone in the parapet of the celebrated bridge of Neuilly is
thirty-four feet in length. P.


tries, as in the Cote d'Or, near Dijon, instead of
slates, to cover the houses ; and these flat stones
have received the absurd name of lava. This
limestone is often an impure mixture of calcareous
sand arid fragments of shells; and sometimes con-
tains entire shells, which are generally of the kind
called littoral, because they are found near the
shores of the sea*. The limestone of the neigh-
bourhood of Paris is full of great numbers of
these shells, called cerites, or screws, which are
sometimes so abundant, that the stone seems
entirely formed of them. There is found at
Weissenau, near Mentz, a bed of limestone,
which is entirely composed of little limnes^, of
the size of a grain of millet seed,

" There are neither veins nor beds of metals
in this limestone, which only contains oxyd of
iron, either argillaceous or calcareous, in beds or
in heaps; it is also said that carbonate of zinc
has been found in it; but of this there is no
proof. Coal is never found in this kind of lime-
stone ; even silex is rare ; and sulphurets of iron
are excluded.

* It may be observed in the catacombs under the city of Paris,
that the shells form layers between the beds, like flint in chalk : so
that the depositions must have been at successive periods. P.

t The Linnaean name is wanting.


But if the differences between the compact
and this kind are of little consequence, the geo-
logical differences are numerous and important.

" This limestone is employed in architecture ;
the solidity of some of its varieties, and the ease
with which it is wrought, giving it great advan-
tages. It is called pierre de faille when it is in
large masses, and motllon when they do not ex-
ceed four cubic feet.

*' It is unequally dispersed, being rare in
England, and common in France, especially in
the environs of Paris, chiefly to the south of that
city, from Sevres to Gentilly. Its beds, which
are horizontal, extensive, thick, and continuous,
are situated between chalk, which it covers, as
niay be observed at Meudon, and gypsum,
which covers it in some parts. It is separated

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