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Stories in Stone - the power of polish

Professor Gordon Walkden

I have three stories I would like to tell you. One is about the Gateshead stonemason who scoured the Moine Thrust belt for metamorphosed Durness Limestone 75 years before Peach and Horne; one is about the crystals in a limestone that reveal cyclic climatic changes 330 million years ago, and one is about the rare and semi-precious stones used to deliver cryptic messages in a spectacular royal chapel dating to 1874.

The first is about rock as a commercial commodity that might have made a personal fortune; the second is about rock as a research resource that might have made a personal reputation and the third is about stone used as an artistic medium to project personal messages of adulation that might have been lost.

What they all have in common is the power of polish; a ‘high definition’ finish that can, respectively, mesmerise, notarise and advertise. If that seems complicated, I promise that the stories are as simple as they are remarkable, and that the pictures are beautiful. They are called ‘The Stone Pioneer’, ‘The World in a Crystal’ and ‘Messages in Marble’. They come from personal research and provide an opportunity for us all to finish the lecture season looking at stone in a fourth way, as medium of indulgence!

Thursday April 19th, Meston Lecture Theatre 1 at 6:30pm.

AGM, Lecture, rock auction & refreshments
Please meet informally at the University Library cafe from 5.30pm.