Scotland's first meteorite commemorated

Issued: Thu, 19 May 2005 00:00:00 BST

To celebrate the landing of the first ever recorded meteorite in Scotland, a commemorative stone has been erected on the Scottish Wildlife Trust's Possil Marsh Nature Reserve. The unveiling of the monument on Friday 20 May forms the culmination of a range of activities last year and this year, celebrating the bicentenary of Scotland's first meteorite.

The meteorite which fell in High Possil was gifted in 1810 to the University of Glasgow's Hunterian Museum, where it is exhibited today.

Dr John Faithfull, curator of the museum, explains:

'This meteorite, which fell in April 1804, was the first ever recovered in Scotland, and one of the very first scientifically verified falls anywhere. This important scientific event at last has a fitting memorial.'

Along with falls in Yorkshire, India and France, the High Possil meteorite marked the beginning of the modern science of meteorites, which now provides us with most of our detailed knowledge about the early Solar System.

There are many meteorite monuments around the world, but there is only one other in Britain. In 1799, Edward Topham, who recovered the World Cottage meteorite in Yorkshire, erected a monument which can still be seen today.

Kate Richardson (K.richardson@admin.gla.ac.uk)


There will be a ceremony to inaugurate the stone, and to launch the redeveloped Possil March Nature Reserve on Friday 20 May, at 11am. Press are welcome to attend. For fuller details contact the University Press Office on 0141 330-3535, or alternatively, contact Dr John W Faithfull (J.Faithfull@museum.gla.ac.uk) on 0141 330 4213.

The meteorite can be viewed at the Hunterian Museum between 9.30am and 5pm, admission is free.

Additional information on the meteorite, including the original 1804 newspaper story, and recent scientific information and photographs, can be found at: http://www.hmag.gla.ac.uk/John/Huntmin/hposs.htm

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