Two lumps of carved stone, two graves, two historic figures, with a connection; and that connection is Luxulliantie
The upper picture is of William West’s gravestone at St.Blazey, a notable piece of chuchyard architecture, crisp and surprisingly modern in style. The lower is the Duke of Wellington’s tomb, hidden beneath St. Paul’s Cathedral.
‘ Mr. West lent the trustees of the estate the engine and machinery for the cutting and polishing of the magnificent sarcophagus of the Duke of Wellington’ The Last Great Cornish Engineer -page 96.
Both stones are cut from Luxulliantie, and it is possible that they both came from the same block of rock.
Luxullianite is a rare type of tourmaline-rich granite named after the village of Luxulyan in Cornwall. Luxullianite is formed from boron-rich pegmatitic fluids caused by fractional crystallisation of the biotite-rich St Austell granite complex, which formed around 280 million years ago by partial melting of the lower continental crust during the Variscan orogeny.
The Virtual microscope web site
The Luxulyan Valley is a fascinating area to visit, full of industrial history containing many connections with William West. The Friends of Luxulyan Valley website contains some excellent information about the valley.
Moore Books, an excellent on line book shop for all things mining, caving and industrial history, are now stocking ‘The Last Great Cornish Engineer‘. Their website is well worth a visit.