The Thomas Fowell Buxton Monument's Geological Heritage
The design of The Thomas Fowell Buxton monument reflects the neo-classical architectural style so typical of Weymouth's Georgian and Regency seafront townscape
Design from Portland Stone
The monument's design by Weymouth College student Peter Loizou and the working of the stones by fellow masonry students celebrates the skills and enterprise of our young people.
Its construction in Portland Stone, quarried and supplied from Portland Island by Albion Stone, reflects the geological heritage of this World Heritage Jurassic Coast.
The marine environment back in Jurassic times in our area was one of deposition.
This was followed by earth movements that created an upfold of these marine rocks, forming a large island environment up against which washed the Cretaceous seas lying to the north.
The Jurassic rocks of this ancient island, today the Weymouth Anticline, have subsequently been eroded by wind and water to create today's Ridge and Vale landscape, so typical of our area. Try cycling across it to really appreciate its ups and downs
The erosion has revealed a pairing of rocks on the south and north of the anticline. The Portland Stone, a limestone, is found both on the Island of Portland to the south of Weymouth, and also in Upwey, north of the town in West Dorset.
The Romans quarried the stone at Upwey to build the walls of Roman Durnovaria, Dorchester, our county town, situated a half hour drive from the centre of Weymouth.
The Portland Island stone features in the remaining Weymouth Tudor and Jacobean buildings; the White Hart Inn in the main shopping square and the Civic Society's Tudor House at Brewer's Quay.
Christopher Wren, for a short time MP for the town, reduced the height of Portland Island by using large amounts of the island's Portland Stone to rebuild London after the Great Fire.
As London and Weymouth have an Olympic connection this year, 2012, it is an opportunity to celebrate this earlier architectural heritage, as well as our local Georgian and Regency one.
Our monument to Thomas Fowell Buxton, who as MP for Weymouth 1818-1837 was instrumental in effecting the abolition of slavery throughout the British Empire in 1833, reflects our pride in our local student masonry skills, our important local historical heritage, and our equally important architectural heritage, but it celebrates too the local geological heritage of our renowned World Heritage Coast.