Frosterley Marble

350 million years ago when England was situated close to the equator, Weardale, County Durham lay under a semi-tropical sea.  A particular species of horn corals ' Dibunophylum Bipartitum' flourished in the bed of the sea. Sediments containing iron and zinc settled over the corals and hardened with the pressure from  further limestone deposits, producing a black and white photograph of the sea bed at the time.

Frosterley marble is not true marble but a fossilised limestone bur is hard enough to take an attractive polish.It was quarried at the village of Frosterley where this limestone was near to the surface. Deposits exist all under the dale but as the dale rises to 14000' and the bed of the sea was horizontal the marble was found much deeper. Lead miners finding the layer trealising it had marine origins called it 'the cockle post'.

In the twelth century church builders seeing the attractive stone included it buildings such as Durham Cathedral. Carlisle Cathedral and the Chapel at Auckland Castle once the home of the Bishops of Durham.

Gemcraft offer atttractive jewellery, gifts and specimens of this unique mineral.

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