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Roxbury Puddingstone

Native, brownish stone that was carved into large blocks and used to build large public buildings in the 19th century (frequently under the direction of architect H.H. Richardson). Examples include Trinity and Old South churches in Copley Square, one of the Chestnut Hill Reservoir pump houses and the Framingham train station. An outcropping of the stone has been preserved on West Street in Hyde Park.

Roxbury Puddingstone against the backdrop of the Hancock Building:

church
Glossary: 

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Comments

Outcrops of this conglomerate are the rox of Roxbury. While Boston has many churches made of Roxbury, New Old South for example, Trinity isn't one of them and HH Richardson never used it to my knowledge. It is hard (a quartzite) with flat joint faces that gave builders a smooth exterior face in the days before rock saws became common.The brown rock of Trinity Church is a sandstone (brownstone) from Longmeadow south of Springfield. It was commonly used for detail work in buildings because it is easily carved but some zones are so weakly cemented that many details are rotted away.

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would like to find out if there are still sources of puddingstone in the Boston area. Would like to use some stones for a park project.Thank you.

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The Brattle Square Church is made of Roxbury puddingstone. Trinity Church is made of granite and (as Dan Lynch pointed out) Longmeadow sandstone.

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The Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, on Tremont St. in Mission Hill (Boston) is most assuredly of puddingstone (and definitely not brown, for that matter). The nearby Puddingstone Park, recently completed, even has a historical marker pointing this out, as well as large chunks of the rock itself. A person standing in the park can even notice the likeness in color of the rocks in the park to the churches towers, which rise in the view from the park.

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I went to the Theodore Roosevelt School in Roxbury and my 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Pow (Pough?) told us that puddingstone was unique to Roxbury, she also told us that crocodiles really shed tears when they eat people. Sooo, I never believed either!! Until today...40 odd years later! My humblest apologies Mrs. Pow, please forgive me for ever doubting you. You were my strictest teacher ever, but also one of my best.

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For those of you who are unsure what Puddingstone looks like, please go to this link. It is NOT brownstone.(copy/paste)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roxbury_puddingstone

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It is also the State Rock of Massachusetts.

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Although I haven't lived in Boston for many years I remember a path that ran off the south end of Forrest Hills St. in J.P. up to the tennis courts behind the Lemuel Shattuck Hospital about half way down the path on the left side was a natural outcropping of puddingstone that was called the King's chair. I looked like a huge throne.

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the roxburry puding stone is a great beautiful stone and it is great to see

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My grandfather told me about the pudding stone many years ago. The stone is a unique stone native to the old "Town" of Roxbury(Now, Roxbury, Rozzie, Westie, JP, HP). It is believed to have originated from a volcanic eruption near the WR Quarry not too far from the intersection of grove st and washington st. So it is indeed a rock unique to Boston.

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Note that Roxbury Puddingstone is in fact unique to Boston, but there are other types of puddingstone in the world. Wikipedia says, "Puddingstone, also known as either Pudding stone or Plum-pudding stone, is a popular name applied to a conglomerate that consists of distinctly rounded pebbles whose colors contrast sharply with the color of the finer-grained, often sandy, matrix or cement surrounding them. The rounded pebbles and the sharp contrast in color gives this type of conglomerate the appearance of a raisin or Christmas pudding."

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Roxbury was called Rocksbury due to the Puddingstone. The puddingstone covers a large Boston area but comes to the surface in Roxbury.

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