Liverpool Rocks!

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Introducing Ed Casson, a new addition to the press team at NML:

When strolling around Liverpool I have always been told to look up to see the city's stunning architecture and history - now I'll find it hard to resist looking down. Last week I spent the afternoon on a guided 'fossil walk' with Tony Morgan, a geologist in the Clore Natural History Centre at World Museum Liverpool.

Starting at the top of William Brown Street, Tony pointed out a marking on the pavement (to the untrained eye a mere groove) which was in fact a 320-year-old fossilised fallen tree. Across St John's Gardens were distinct clam markings from the Jurassic Era - 150-million-years-old - on the William Rathbone statue.

Possibly Liverpool's oldest rock (although there are older examples in the World Museum's Clore Department) stands at an astonishing 1.5-billion-years-old. The Rapakivi Granite, from Finland, was used to build the former Allied Irish Bank in Dale Street. On to the Abbey National and jewellers Boodles in North John Street, and snail fossils can be found in the limestone.

Tony Morgan points out a fossil in the wall of Boodles on North Jon Street

Tony Morgan, a geologist at World Museum Liverpool

Even stranger, as passers-by who watched as we studied the building will testify, are the fossils on the Met Quarter shopping centre in Whitechapel. The Bavarian granite contains large fossilised molluscs and cuttlefish-related creatures (again from the Jurassic Era), more examples of which can be seen at the World Museum. Tony, a member of the Liverpool Geological Society, explained that the molluscs could have grown to as large as two metres in diameter.

He said: "There are an amazing amount of fossils in the buildings across Liverpool, you just have to know what you're looking for and keep an eye out for them."

So then fossil-hunters, as they say at the bingo - "Eyes down!"

* An in-depth feature on the fossil walk, by journalist Emma Pinch, appeared in Tuesday’s Daily Post.