This is a sample of sandstone from the Marfield quarry, near Ninemileburn, south of Penicuik.
It is a relatively quartz-rich sandstone, with occasional large reflective flakes of white mica.
It dates back to the carboniferous age. The name carboniferous means “coal-bearing”, which ties in with Midlothian’s mining heritage. Carboniferous rocks in Europe and eastern North America largely consist of a repeated sequence of limestone, sandstone, shale and coal beds.
Sandstone has been used since prehistoric times, and continues to be used, for domestic construction and housewares.
Photo: Scran/British Geological Survey/NERC
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