Click the microscope button to view a thin section for this sample.
Click the microscope button to view a thin section for this sample.
Click the object button to view an object rotation for this sample.

Fact sheet


The Middlesborough meteorite fell on 14th March 1881 as a single 1.5 kg stone. It landed at Pennyman's siding on the railway about 1.75 miles from Middlesborough in NE England. The impact was witnessed by railwaymen who heard a "rushing" sound followed by a thud. Alexander Herschel later described the hole it made as a round vertical hole into which a man's arm might be thrust. The shape of the meteorite is the result of severe melting and abrasion during its entry into the Earth's atmosphere.

The Middlesborough meteorite is classified as an L6 chondrite, meaning it has a low iron content (5-10%) and indistinct chondrules that have been metamorphosed under conditions capable of homogenising all mineral compositions. Look at moderate magnification in PPL to see chondrules (rounded features) consisting of olivine and pyroxene crystals. Rotation 1 shows a barred olivine chondrule.

See also:


Specimen: BM54267 (stills are courtesy of GeoEd who make a replica of the meteorite)
Thin section: BM54267

Additional images
  • Replica of the Middlesborough meteorite
  • Replica of the Middlesborough meteorite
  • Replica of the hole made by the Middlesborough meteorite
54.566688, -1.166611
About this collection

This Collection consists of meteorites that have fallen in Great Britain and Ireland and which are now preserved in museum collections. We have also included samples of the two known meteorite impact deposits in the UK.

The Natural History Museum in London offers more information about meteorites and meteorite categories; there is more information about its meteorite collections here.

Sample details

Rock-forming mineral
Category guide  
Category Guide
Refers to any word or phrase that appears in the individual rock names. Names are generally descriptive; they allow users to search for broad terms like ‘granite’ as well as more specific names such as ‘breccia’. However, the adjacent descriptions of the specimens captures a wider range of general words and phrases and is a more powerful search tool.
Refers to any word or phrase that appears anywhere in the descriptions of the specimens
Accessory minerals
Minerals that occur in very low abundance in a rock. They are usually not visible with the naked eye and contribute perhapssver, they often dominate the rare elements such as platinum group metals.
Rock-forming minerals
Minerals that make up the bulk of all rock samples and are also the ones used in rock classi?cation.
Selecting one or more period, for example 'Jurassic'.
A term used to group together related samples that are not already gathered into a single Collection. For instance, there is a ‘SW England granites’ theme that includes such rock types as granite, hydrothermal breccia, skarn and vein samples.
A general term used to label a rock sample. It is a useful way of grouping similar samples throughout a collection. Category names are often, but not exclusively, common rock names (e.g. granite, basalt, dolerite, gabbro, greisen, skarn, gneiss, amphibolite, limestone, sandstone).
The owner of the sample that appears in the collection. For example, NASA owns all the samples that appear in the Moon Rocks collection
We would like to thank the following for the use of this sample: