Warwickshire in 100 Objects: Fossil Wood From the Warwickshire Coalfield

Silicified wood, Carboniferous, Allesley | Image courtesy of Warwickshire Museum
Silicified wood, Carboniferous, Allesley. Specimen is currently displayed in the Market Hall Museum, Warwick, and is roughly 70 cm high.
Image courtesy of Warwickshire Museum

The wood has been naturally replaced (‘silicified’) by the steel-hard mineral, quartz. The striking red, brown and black colours seen within the fossil wood are due to other minerals within the quartz, such as iron and manganese. We think that the logs accumulated as ancient log-jams, after periodic flash floods.

The spectacular specimen illustrated here is held within the Warwickshire Museum collections. It is 70 centimetres in height, very, very heavy and was collected long ago from Allesley.