People have relied upon materials extracted from the earth’s crust for thousands of years. In the present day, nearly everything has a geological component - from the cars we drive, to the fuel they use, to the roads they travel.
Geology is everywhere around us, shaping our landscape, in the nature of the soil, which in turn influences the types of plants that grow and the countryside we see around us.
Looking around your own home, you will be amazed by what is linked to geology. Rocks and minerals are vital to our lives, being found in everyday things such as toothpaste, fuel for our fires, the fossils that fascinate us or plaster-of-paris for broken bones! These are all linked to the ground we walk on.
Building Blocks, is a free information booklet highlighting the building materials used in Leicestershire and Rutland. The booklet aims to raise awareness of the use of building materials that are found locally. These give the towns and villages around Leicestershire and Rutland special character and their own local distinctiveness. The local geology is therefore inextricably linked with local distinctiveness. In a sense, we can say that the whole character of the landscape is due to the geology.
Leicestershire and Rutland have a wealth of different rock types and fascinating geology, including some very distinctive building stones. These range from the ancient rocks of Charnwood Forest, to the limestones of the east, which were laid down when the area was under a tropical sea. Mountsorrel Granite, Swithland Slate and Marlstone, are all popular and well known stones found in Leicestershire and Rutland and are renowned across the country.
The booklet is a simple introduction to this geology. It includes how rocks were formed, the major rock types found in Leicestershire and Rutland with descriptions of how to identify them, where certain groups of rocks are found, how they are used in the area and examples of buildings and villages illustrating local use. As well as providing information, the booklet aims to provide ideas and inspiration for local geological studies, recording and celebrating the area's built heritage.
Produced by the Community Heritage Initiative,
which was supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Rutland County Council