The Origins and Properties of Purbeck
What on earth is Purbeck stone? And why are there so many different beds? This course provides an opportunity to delve into the geology of the Isle of Purbeck within the context of the larger Jurassic coast area, and to understand how this led to the specific qualities of the stone quarried in the area and its uses in construction and carving.
The course is open to anyone and does not require any prior knowledge of geology. It will be taught through informal presentations and discussions some of which will take place at the active rock face of a local quarry site.
AM In the workshop at the Burngate Stone Centre – presentation of the geology of the Jurassic coast: what did Purbeck look like in Jurassic times, what was happening to lay down the materials that would form Purbeck limestone and how did time, environment, pressure and geologic processes alter the rocks over time. There will be plenty of time for discussion and to look at rock samples and fossils.
PM At the nearby Haysom Purbeck Stone – we will go on a guided tour of the quarry site to understand the quarrying operations. We will see the different Purbeck beds up close and discuss their characteristics and how these resulted from the geologic processes we discussed earlier in the day. We will also visit the quarry’s own private museum and see their collection of quarrying artefacts, fossils and sections cut through the Purbeck inland beds.
Whether you’re just visiting or know this area well, this one-day workshop is a perfect introduction to the geological origins of the Purbeck landscape and to the stone beneath. It will give participants a fresh perspective on what makes Purbeck stone so special and distinctive, and how its physical properties lend themselves to use for carving, masonry, and within our built environment.
What will I achieve?
- An understanding of the geologic processes that formed the Jurassic Coast area and of the specific geology of the Isle of Purbeck.
- An opportunity to link this theoretical understanding to a physical observation of the quarry beds and the qualities of the rocks themselves.
- An understanding of how the characteristics of the various Purbeck beds impacts their quarrying and their suitability for different carving and masonry uses
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is open to all. It is particularly suited to those with an interest in stone carving or masonry who want to learn more about the geologic background of local stone or to those with an interest in the natural history or vernacular of Purbeck.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
Teaching will be through a mix of presentations and classroom discussions followed by a visit to the quarry site where we can observe in more detail the geology we have been discussing. We will also be able to see artifacts from the history of quarrying in Purbeck and some of the many interesting fossils discovered in the quarries.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to prepare in advance or bring?
No specific equipment is needed. Please wear stout shoes or boots suitable for the quarry visit. You won’t need to prepare anything in advance. Please bring a packed lunch with you. The course fee includes complimentary tea, coffee and biscuits.
Children (12+) £20
|Maximum 12 people
|One Day (10am-12 noon; 2-4pm)
|Adults and young people aged 12+ accompanied by a participating adult
Geology | Carving
Jude trained as a mathematician and she has had a long career in the energy industry, working in teams of geologists and geophysicists to understand and quantify the characteristics of underground rock formations in countries as diverse as the Netherlands, Angola and Canada.
Her interest in geology led her to undertake a BA in Architectural Stone Carving from the City and Guilds of London Art School. After an intensive three years she has now graduated and established her own stone carving practice. Her passion for stone carving and lettering was initially sparked on a taster course similar to those offered at Burngate.
She loves working with her hands and with the natural properties of different stones. Her teaching experience includes running workshops to improve the management of UNESCO natural World Heritage sites.