Petty Parish Church was built between 1848 and 1850 and replaced the Old Petty Church (now abandoned) behind nearby Castle Stuart. The replacement building at Petty was originally known as Petty Free Church at the time of opening.
For the purposes of this EarthCache, we are interested in the War Memorial that faces the A96. It is an obelisk of rough pink granite with a polished side and features a carved stone urn with decoration. Parking is available off the A96 around the back of the Church itself.
Granite is an igneous rock formation that formed as molten magma cooled and solidified deep underground during the Carboniferous period, 300 million years ago. The slower the magma took to cool, the bigger the crystals appear in the finished product. If it cooled quickly, the crystals appear smaller. Chemical phase is another factor that can alter crystal appearance.
Crystal size is a clue into the history of a rock. The presence of larger crystals tells us that it spent longer underground in its formation, away from the cooler air of the surface. These are known as intrusive rocks. The surface might remind you of a speckled bird's egg. Some of the "dots" may be hard to pick out, or be massive in comparison!
The "mix" of minerals in the final product is the cause of the wild colour variations you can see in the granite range.
Quartz = milky white appearance
Feldspar = off white appearance
Potassium Feldspar = salmon pink appearance
Biotite dark brown or black appearance
Muscovite = yellow or metallic gold appearance
Amphibole = black or dark green appearance
Granite can be thought of as a solid lump, which reduces overall weaknesses, and makes it a popular choice for building material.
Pollutants from vehicles are highly acidic. This is because a moving vehicles produces "precursors" such as sulfur dioxide, which in turn can mix with raindrops and cause sulfuric acid. This acid has a corrosive effect on the lungs as well as stone, brick and metal structures.
To log this EarthCache, please email me (or message using Geocaching.com) answers to the following. Logs without the accompanying email/message may be deleted in time but feel free to log the cache before my reply!
1) Examine the memorial, specifically its carvings. Are they in good or poor condition?
2) In your opinion, is this due to it's placement or choice of building material?
3) How long is the darker "streak" along the front polished side (appears to have had a slight filler applied at some point)?
4) How big is the largest crystal you can see within the granite?
5) The presence of what gives this granite its pinkish colour?
6) OPTIONAL: Post a photo of your GPS at GZ.
For full information on how you can expand the Church Micro series by sadexploration please read the Place your own Church Micro page before you contact him at churchmicro.co.uk
See also the Church Micro Statistics and Home pages for further information about the series.