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Purbeck Marble

Purbeck Marble, or Purbeck Stone, is a hard semi-metamorphosed limestone, formed of shells of freshwater and brackish snails, which can be seen in cut slabs. The stone takes its name from the Isle of Purbeck, a peninsular in the English county of Dorset, where it is found.

The stone is hard enough to take a fine polish, hence the name Purbeck Marble, even though it is not metamorphosed by sufficient heat and pressure to have been converted into true marble. In seams of the stone, which lie between layers of softer marine clays and mudstone, laid down in repeated marine ingressions, mineral impurities give some Purbeck stone fine red and green varieties. Purbeck stone was first quarried in medieval times and can be seen in virtually all the cathedrals of the south of England, in columns and slab panels and flooring.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Purbeck_Marble". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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