Cotham landscape marble

Rhaetic limestone from Cotham in Gloucestershire - Triassic

Landscape Marble, quarried at Cotham in Bristol, was used as a decorative stone by the Victorians and there is a piece of this in the fireplace in the breakfast room. It is not a true marble but a limestone that can be cut and polished. The landscape patterns inside the bed of limestone are structures formed by algae, although people did think that the "trees" and "hedges" were due to gas bubbles rising through mud. Some algae built calcareous structures and others bound sediments with a matt of tubes. They can be important reef-builders and are among the oldest known fossils.

The following picture shows the fireplace and the Cotham landscape marble insert.