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James Hutton Memorial Garden

Located in the Pleasance district of Edinburgh, a quarter-mile (0.5 km) south east of the city centre, the James Hutton Memorial Garden was laid out in 2002 to commemorate the 'Father of Modern Geology' James Hutton (1726-97). It stands on the site of his former house at No. 3 St. John's Hill. The architects were Crichton, Lang, Willis & Galloway of Edinburgh, acting on behalf of the property developer Morrison Construction.

A bronze plaque is mounted on a block of Clashach sandstone, a Triassic dune-bedded sandstone from a coastal quarry north of Elgin which represents a popular building stone. This is surrounded by boulders demonstrating Hutton's principal theories; granite from Glen Tilt is shown as veins penetrating older rock, evidence that molten rock could be injected under great pressure, and a conglomerate from Barbush near Dunblane contains pebbles of older rock demonstrating the slow cyclic nature of geological processes.

Originally unveiled in association with a conference celebrating the bicentenary of Hutton's death, the boulders were kept in storage by the British Geological Survey in Edinburgh while new flats were built around St. John's Hill, which had been a gap-site since slums were cleared in the late 1960s.


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