Thursday, 1 December 2016

In Beighton

The Primitive Methodist Church in Beighton

Having undertaken surveys of the geology, mediaeval churches and various historic buildings that are set on or near to the known outcrop of “Rotherham Red” sandstone – from Hooton Roberts to Harthill – I took advantage of a rare shopping trip to Crystal Peaks shopping centre and walked around the village of Beighton.

A geological map of the area around Beighton

Set on an unnamed Pennine Middle Coal Measures Formation sandstone, of similar age to those already encountered in the villages of Wales and Treeton, I wasn't surprised to discover that the various historic buildings here are constructed of yellow/buff/brown sandstone, with some iron stained bands – typical of the Coal Measures sandstones.

Victorian houses with thin bedded sandstone walling

In very many quarries excavated into these sandstones, a section through the quarry face will show a succession of beds of various thickness and grain size – with the massive beds being selected for the principal structural elements and finer, thinner beds being used for general walling.

An old quarry in Beighton

Getting off the bus on Robin Road, the Primitive Methodist Church provides a good example of this style of construction, as do the various Victorian terraced houses that run alongside High Street; however, the oldest houses – which include those of the more wealthy landowners – are generally built entirely in massive, medium grained sandstone.

A Georgian house built out of massive, medium grained sandstone

Having had a good wander around the old village of Beighton – and taking good note of its topography - I then set off to explore the church of St. Mary the Virgin.

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