The Rock in January

Our rock in January



I am assuming that this is a local rock(!) that wasn’t shipped in from some exotic location, in which case it is most likely Jura limestone. (Having said that, a lot of building materials from all over the place are shipped on the canal just below us in the valley!)


Jura limestone (Jura-Marmor) is the stone found all around this region and quarried locally for building material. In fact almost all the houses around here will have window sills made of this stone, and possibly floor tiles too. It is sanded down and polished to give it a smooth and shiny finish. It also often contains fossils.

Near my hometown in the UK sandstone is the local stone, used in buildings and stone walls.

Do you have stone quarried locally? Is it polished up or used in its natural form?

36 thoughts on “The Rock in January

  1. I like your rock. I should have paid more attention in geology class–even had to go to a local quarry for geology class but it’s all a blank after so many years. We do have slate and lots of granite.

    • I don’t recall any geology lessons and my knowledge is very scant! We have slate in the UK too, but in southern Germany mostly this or similar stone. A lot is imported from Italy and Eastern Europe too.

  2. Interesting enough to make me visit Mr Google! Learn that it too could be used as very interesting building material! Hm, 160-140 million years old if so!! Fun for me ’cause ‘marmor’ in Estonian means’ marble’!!! Since it contains fossils it makes me think of the favourite semi-precious stone for much of the jewellery in the Baltics – that of amber: fossilized pine tree which ‘scrubs’ up most beautifully!!!

    • Yes, but I suppose marble is also only polished stone… Sometimes I come across a piece of stone with a fossil in – will have to keep my eyes open and get a photo. This whole area was under water thousands of years ago, which left some great rock formations and caves when it receded.

  3. We live in a limestone area and there are many quarries around us. I should say were, as most are closed. One at Crazennes is now a nature area but it provided stone for Cologne Cathedral and Fort Boyard.

    • Some of the old quarries around here have been made into nature reserves too. It’s amazing when you think of all that stone being moved such distances all those years ago!

  4. Your rock is so beautiful, unless someone has placed it there, probably 2/3rds is underground like an iceberg! We have granite 10 miles to the west where Dartmoor is and 10 miles to the east is the limestone quarry at Beer where all the stone came from for Westminster Abbey, St. Pauls, the Houses of Parliament etc. On the coast travelling east from here is the Jurassic Coast where hundreds and thousands of fossils and dinosaur bones have been found. Lyme Regis is a favourite place for fossil hunting, especially after a storm like we have had recently. Here in the garden when digging, we find large, very smooth stones pink/brown in colour. When we first moved here we went to the local museum on the coast and apparently there used to be a wide river where we are now (millions of years ago) and the stones were made so smooth by being tumbled in the river – amazing!

    • Thank you Pauline. It’s a similar situation here – our valley was part of a huge sea and then the bed of the original old Danube before it changed its course thousands (millions?) of years ago.
      Transporting all that stone from Devon to London must have been a major logistical feat in those days…. but then look at Stonehenge! I’d never thought about where the stone for Westminster etc came from…. gets you thinking doesn’t it! Thanks!

  5. An impressive chunk of rock Cathy which I’m trying to envisage in its sanded down and polished state. There is a lot of sandstone in Cheshire which as far as I know is used in its natural form. Not so far from us there are beds of rock salt. Not quite the same as quarry but there is a working salt mine in Winsford, which is also used to store some of the contents of the National Archive.

    • I’ll try and get a picture of some polished limestone to post in the future… I much prefer it in its natural state though – like sandstone, it seems to fit into the landscape better.

  6. We have piles of slate and granite that used to be walls and foundations all over New England, along with enormous glacial boulders that I can’t remember the name of…
    Love your rock – it has personality! 🙂

    • Hi Marie. Yes, our rock is a part of the garden and I would hate to part with it… don’t think it’s going anywhere though! 😉 It’s interesting hearing what kind of rocks are used where all my blogging buddies live!

    • I like sandstone for buildings, and always think of the cottages in the countryside near my hometown in the UK. The pale colour is somehow warm and cosy. 😀 Thanks for the link too Sheryl!

  7. At a quick glance your rock looks like a snow sculpture – but it won’t be melting away in the spring. I grew up in Cheshire, where sandstone was turned into everything from walls marking field boundaries to candle holders… and being the 70’s, lumps of sandstone in rockeries were really popular too!

    • Now that makes me think that this rock was placed in the garden (or dug out where there used to be a pond) and wasn’t originally standing there – this place was built in the seventies! There are quite a few smaller rocks here that clearly don’t belong too!

  8. I love large boulders in the landscape! They are naturally decorative, and this is really quite beautiful. I love any rocks or boulders that contain fossils. I find that exciting. We do have rock quarries that are used for sand and gravel mining. I suppose that mostly makes cement? Hahaha! Not quite as exquisite as what you’ve shared, but very useful I suppose. It’s such a great question, Cathy. I think I’d like to know more about the rock quarries. I do pass them quite frequently. 🙂

  9. We have many glacial erratics around and use one as object in the garden. I´d like to have stones with fossils in, but ours are a mixture of stones from far away, placed here at the end of a moraine.

  10. Your rock looks very tactile as well as beautiful. We have lower greensand red brown sandstone here, its probably the most ugly of all rocks anywhere. Although used for some local churches and walls its crumbly, soft and dull. We inherited masses of it when we moved here and I just cannot like it. I often have rock envy!

  11. In my area of Italy there are two kinds of volcanic rock, soft tuffo (from which our house is built (quarried literally on site) and peperino which is grey and hard and is used as door surrounds, window cills, stairs and outside for fountains and statues.

    • Hi Christina. It’s the local stone that gives places their character I think. Sadly ours is rarely used for actual buildings these days, but certainly for decorations like fountains, and polished indoor features too.

  12. Boy you are GREEN! Yes I used to haul crushed stone some was polished pea stone so pretty for walkways soft on feet then I haul huge blasted rock for retaining the sea and smaller ones of jaggered granite for what we call rip rap. I love rocks in all shapes and sizes 🙂

      • 🙂 With our tropical storms and the loss of whole roadways over and over they use millions of pounds of rock like this to do the same and each storm tears it apart and they start all over again 😦 Nature trying to make things over the way they were 🙂

  13. Those limestone pieces always yell alpine garden to me.
    We are in coal country here but have plenty of rock types throughout the mountains. My favorite is the bluestone which makes such nice patio paving. If I had the back for it I would love to add more and more rocks to my own garden!

    • I’m glad to say this one and all the rocks in my rockery were here already! A few have been moved around (minimally) and one rolled down onto the grass last winter after a very hard frost! (We got it back up though! 😉 )

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.