Building Stones of Manchester University by Matthew Jones

10th October 2009

Leader - Norma Rothwell

Together with the Open University Geological Society we met outside the Manchester Museum.

Once we were together we headed round the corner to view the car boot display-case of building stones, which was interesting. We then went back to the meeting place and up some steps to the area just outside the museum where we looked at a wall of micro granite imported from China and tried to find the few garnets in it.

Inside the foyer to the museum we saw an Egyptian column of red granite about 12 ft high, engraved with hieroglyphs. Also inside we examined some more micro granite from the same quarry looking at the enclaves (other foreign rocks in the rock). As we walked along the main road we looked at a sandstone wall with interlocking bricks showing gradual variation. After that we moved around the building and looked at an area of the wall where the iron in the sandstone had migrated slowly into one patch.

As we continued to walk through into the quadrangle we saw a flagstone with ripples in it. We looked at the sandstone types in the surrounding walls, there was the Collyhurst sandstone which is the older rock and Binney sandstone which is less pink and also younger.

We moved around the quadrangle to look at a large Andesite boulder which was found in a glacial drift. The smaller rocks it is supported by are quartzite pebbles.

We continued to a university building further down the main road where there were some blocks of Jurassic limestone containing fossilized oysters and Turetella shells.

After that we walked further up the street towards a church. Inside we looked around quietly and looked at a lot of things including a large clam shell about an arms length long. There was a pulpit made of gypsum with serpentinite columns. Next we visited the rock garden in, literally a garden of rock, containing as well as a lot of other things, some interesting fossils.

Matthew Jones (aged 13 ~ a Rockwatch member)