The geological and historical milieu of an ornamental cephalopod limestone (‘orthoceratite limestone’, Ordovician, Sweden) used in the Clerk Mausoleum (1684), St Mungo's Kirkyard, Penicui...
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Thematic collection: Early Career Research
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A slab of cephalopod limestone bearing a Latin dedication, on the mausoleum built around 1684 by Sir John Clerk of Penicuik (1649–1722) for his wife Elizabeth Henderson (1658–83) at St Mungo’s Church, Penicuik, near Edinburgh. Taylor, McMillan, Stewart and Anderson (this issue) identify the stone on sedimentological and palaeontological evidence and architecture-historical context as Ordovician ‘orthoceratite limestone’ from Sweden, rather than the Carboniferous cephalopod limestone from Closeburn, Dumfriesshire. This is the only surviving historical example of 'orthoceratite limestone’ known in Edinburgh and the Lothians. It was little used in Great Britain, still less in a funerary context. Clerk seemingly wanted to emulate Roman use of marbles and similar stones; this reinforces the mausoleum’s significance as a pioneering example of classical or Antique architecture. Source: M. A. Taylor.