The Geology of Oxford Gravestones

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Geologica Press is a private imprint set up by Nina Morgan and Philip Powell. It focuses on geological topics as a means to promote greater public understanding of science. (

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About the book

The wide range of rock types used for gravestones means that cemeteries can be geological treasure-troves. For geologists – whether amateur, student or professional – almost any urban cemetery provides a valuable opportunity to carry out scientific field work at leisure, right on the doorstep, and at no cost.

The geological trails in the six Oxford cemeteries described in The Geology of Oxford Gravestones highlight the wide variety of rock types and geological features that can be seen in graveyards throughout Britain – and provide an introduction to geology that anyone can enjoy.

The six cemeteries featured in this book – Holywell, St Sepulchre's, Headington Municipal Cemetery and the churchyards of St Thomas the Martyr, St Andrew's, Headington and SS Mary and John – provide a unique insight into the people who lived and worked in the Oxford area from the 17th century to modern times. Whether this book inspires you to take up the study of geology or not, one thing is certain. You'll never look at cemeteries in the same way again.

The Geology of Oxford Gravestones is published by Geologica Press. The book has 140 pages, including a glossary and index, 7 maps, geological column and 389 colour photographs.


About the authors

Nina Morgan is a science writer based near Oxford with a DPhil in Geology. She writes about a wide range of science and technology subjects, and produces a regular column on the history of geology for Geoscientist magazine, the membership magazine of The Geological Society of London.

Philip Powell is a former curator of geology at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, with special interests in fossils, building stones and local geology. He is the author of The Geology of Oxfordshire published by Dovecote Press.