Hello, and welcome back to Fossils on Friday!
Last week, we looked at some of the Triassic sandstone formations in the USA that I had studied before the UK was in lockdown. And I said that the next post would look at the same rocks….but in a different place! As this is Blog About Britain (emphasis on the ‘Britain’ part there), guess where we are going? No prizes for the right answer I’m afraid…..xD
The Old Red Sandstone is a very unique part of the UK. If you live somewhere in the mid-west to south-west of the UK, you would have almost certainly passed it at some point during your travels. Other than quarries or some beaches, the best place to see the sandstone is along motorway or A road cuttings. Here, where the road builders have blasted through the hillside to make way for the new road, wonderful artificial ‘canyons are formed (although not quite to the same status of the USA ones!).
If you haven’t seen them on the side of the roads, maybe you have gone to one of the many beaches where you can see them? From Bristol down through Exmoor, and onto the south coast, round Exeter and Budleigh Salterton, this red sandstone is exposed in many places. The orange-red rocks and landforms give an almost tropical and exotic look to the area, and it can be very fun looking along the beach and seeing the area.
There is one other place that you can find the red sandstone in the UK, and that is in houses! There are several very large quarries for the sandstone around the UK, and much of it makes its way into buildings. The sandstone can be very hard, and is perfect for cutting up into large blocks. It really does make a very pretty building stone. Maybe you have some houses or buildings around your area that has some of this red sandstone?
Next week, we will be looking at one particular area in the UK where the sandstone is particularly poignant. Until then, let us know if you have any road-cuts with the red sandstone in it, or if you know any buildings that have used it.