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Corallian Limestone is a coralliferous sedimentary rock, laid down in Jurassic times. It is a hard variety of "coral rag". Building stones from this geological structure tend to be irregular in shape. It is often found close to seams of Portland Limestone (e.g. Abbotsbury in Dorset, England). It is a younger limestone than its near-neighbour, the Oolitic, as found in the Cotswolds, in Gloucestershire.
A ridge of Corallian Limestone rises above the Vale of Avon and the Thames Valley in its Oxfordshire stretch. The Oxfordshire Corallian ridge is an escarpment holding back the hanging valley that is the Vale of White Horse and its hardness forced the River Thames to take a wide northern detour, to cut through the low ridge at Oxford. High points along the ridge are Cumnor Hurst and Wytham Hill. The outcrop known as Headington stone was quarried at Headington Quarry on the outskirts of Oxford and used for many of the historic University buildings there.
The most noted scholar of the Corallian strata of England was the geologist W.J. Arkell (1904–1958).
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Corallian.|
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