A cathedral might not seem like an obvious choice for a geosite, but Durham’s beautiful Norman cathedral is a great place to see a variety of building stones up close. As well as the distinctive sandstone, the interior of the building includes the local ‘Frosterley Marble’, a black limestone containing fossil corals of the Carboniferous Period. You can also take a geology trail of the surrounding riverbanks, available at the cathedral’s bookshop.
Alex Holton, who works as a surveyor and heritage consultant with Purcell architects, York, sent us this striking image of the cathedral from an unusual angle…
He says, ‘Durham Cathedral was built in 1093 and forms a major part of the Durham Cathedral and Castle UNESCO World Heritage Site.
‘This image captures the Western Towers on a bright winters’ afternoon. The sun and sky were perfect, giving powerful illumination and contrast to the cathedral’s ancient sandstone. The photograph was taken on the off-chance when I was undertaking a condition survey of the masonry with the Cathedral Architect, Chris Cotton.’
We also received this atmospheric image of the cathedral from a distance, from photographer James Walton.
And Pierre Guirguis took this aerial photograph, showing the cathedral’s two towers rising above the city.
*The 100 Great Geosites calendar is available now – there’s still time to purchase before Christmas!