Rock of Ages: Grave Concerns

graveyards, gravestones, photography and family

Rock of Ages 3: Fieldstone, Sandstone & Slate

Grave Concerns: Part 3 of Rock of Ages

Rock of Ages: Grave Concerns


Fieldstone (front) McGuigan Cemetery, Merrickville, ON

delaminated sandstone

Fieldstone was a common grave material choice among struggling settlers. The stones were found while tilling or clearing the land. Many were laid unmarked, some sported symbols or the name and age of the deceased.

An excellent example of fieldstone markers exists in Grande Pre, Nova Scotia at the Acadian Burying Grounds. A Herbin Cross commemorates this National Historic Site and the burials there, which are dated between 1680 and 1750. [24]

Sandstone & Slate
During the 1600s, ample supplies of sandstone replaced fieldstones in Colonial North America, because of its durability yet it was still soft enough to carve easily. [25]

Some sandstone markers remained so well preserved that each chisel mark can be discerned in the carving, but the vast majority of these stones delaminated and crumbled into dust. Delamination occurs when moisture gets between the layers that make up the sandstone. As it freezes, expands and…

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This entry was posted on October 29, 2014 by in The Graveyard Rabbit of Alberta.
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