I found this rock at the weekend in the forest of Haigh Hall, Standish. It seems to be a solid mass of fibrous material. I have given it a scrub with warm water and a toothbrush just to get rid of all the dirt. the surface will yield under force from a screwdriver, as though it is some form of calcium mineral? My 4.5 year old son thinks it may be a fossil of some sort. enter image description here


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    $\begingroup$ Haigh Hall in the Manchester area of the UK? $\endgroup$ – njuffa Sep 21 '16 at 22:02
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    $\begingroup$ Please add more info: meta.earthscience.stackexchange.com/questions/124/… $\endgroup$ – Jan Doggen Sep 22 '16 at 6:14
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    $\begingroup$ Does it react with acid (something like household vinegar)? $\endgroup$ – Siv Sep 22 '16 at 16:20
  • $\begingroup$ it doesn't seem to have had any reaction with vinegar. $\endgroup$ – General_inquirer Sep 23 '16 at 12:58
  • $\begingroup$ Yes its Haigh Hall in Manchester - in the wooded area in front of the Manor house $\endgroup$ – General_inquirer Sep 23 '16 at 13:00

It looks too irregular to be a fossil. My 'first reaction' is that it is probably a bit of slag discarded from a former iron works. There are some metamorphic rocks that have this kind of texture, but Standish isn't a metamorphic area. Upon checking, I see that Haigh Hall is located squarely in the mid- to upper-Carboniferous of Merseyside. Because of the productive coal measures all around, this was formerly an industrial heartland, with many steel foundries and similar heavy industries (now long gone), so slag is my 'second reaction', also.

Maybe it is not the 'rock' that you hoped for, but you could keep it as a souvenir of Britain's industrial past.

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    $\begingroup$ OK thats fine with me, we will add this to the collection and it prompted an in depth discussion with my 4 year old son about the industrial revolution in the North West. $\endgroup$ – General_inquirer Sep 23 '16 at 13:04

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