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Purbeck. Dark-grey or grey-greenish hard limestone, called a marble, originating in the Isle of Purbeck, Dorset, England, and almost entirely composed of univalve and bivalve remains fossilized and bound together. It was extensively employed by English medieval architects for colonnettes, shafts, monuments, effigies, and tombs because of its attractive properties, being capable of taking a spectacular polish. Patterned with fossils, the dark shiny marble shafts set against ordinary limestone contribute to the sumptuous richness of First Pointed Gothic interiors such as those of Lincoln, Salisbury, and Winchester Cathedrals, where clustered or compound piers may be found featuring the material.
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