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The Forest of Dean by H. G. Nicholls

As well as for ornamental stonework


dichotomum, et elegans, et Serlii, et Sternbergii, et majus.

_Neuropteris_ acutifolia, et angustifolia, et flexuosa, et macrophylla, et oblongata.

_Pecopteris_ abbreviata, et arborescens, et cristata, et dentata, et Serlii.

_Sigillaria_ contracta, et elongata, et mammillaris, et ornata, et reniformis.

_Sphenophyllum_ fimbriatum, et Schlotheimii, et truncatum.

_Sphenopteris_ Hibbertii, et macilenta.

_Stigmaria_ ficoides.

_Ulodendron_ Lindleyanum, et Lucasii.

The same variations in thickness as well as "faults" which have been detected in the lower coal seams, occur in the middle measures, although they do not in any case assume the same magnitude as the "Horse" in the Coleford High Delf.

The heart of the Forest basin is well defined by its forming a slightly varied plateau, containing the inferior and comparatively unimportant seams of Woor Green coal, situated of course nearer to the surface than the other veins, but as yet only sparingly worked, and not accurately defined in its outcrop. The highest elevations in this portion of the district are:--Surridge, 658 feet; Speech-house, 581 feet; St. Paul's, Park End, 270 feet. The combined vertical thickness of the entire

formation, descending from the top surface to the old red sandstone, is calculated by Mr. D. Williams at 2,765 feet, an opinion which is corroborated by Mr. Atkinson's highly interesting sections based on his practical acquaintance with the mining operations of the Forest.

Mr. Mushet obtained by analysis the following percentage of carbon in the various descriptions of coal, viz.:--

Lowery Delf 62. Coleford High Delf 63.72, 63.61, and 60.96. Churchway 60.33 and 64.135. Rockey 61.735. Starkey 61.53. Park End Little Delf 58.15. Smith Coal 63.36.

None of these sorts of coal emit "fire-damp" in their natural condition--a fact which adds so much to the safety of the pits; but "choke-damp" is very prevalent.

The sandstone matrix of these coal-beds constitutes the grey and buff-coloured rock so well known in the neighbourhood of the Forest as a valuable building material, as well as for ornamental stonework. Although for many years past it has been generally preferred to the gritstone of the district, and is commonly met with in the better specimens of stonework on this side the Severn, of which Mr. Telford's Over Bridge and Lord Somers's mansion at Eastnor are examples, yet originally such was not the case, since the earliest example of its being used for any considerable pieces of masonry occurs in the steeple of Ruerdean Church, a work of the 15th century. Now, however, almost all the 320 stone quarries worked in the Forest are of this stone, which is very pleasing in tint, and, if judiciously selected, very durable.

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