The Geology of Oxford Gravestones
About the exhibition
In Oxford, the oldest gravestones are made from local stones, often dug from quarries just a few miles away.
With the growth of the canal network and the coming of the railways, gravestones made using rocks from Cornwall, Scotland and Northern Ireland began to adorn Oxford cemeteries. Improved transportation links and the Victorian taste for more elaborate gravestones led to a flourishing of the funeral and monumental masonry trades.
These days transporting stone is so cheap and easy that beautiful gravestones to commemorate the dead are made using rocks from around the world.
Visit a cemetery with a hand lens or magnifying glass to hand and you’ll be amazed at what you can see. You’ll never look at cemeteries in the same way again.
Lead image: St Sepulchre’s, Jericho by Mike Tomlinson