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Mineral collecting was Matthew Heddle's main passion. Several of Heddle's minerals are on display in the National Museum of Scotland.

  • Microcline from the Beinn Bhreck boulder. Note the crystal faces have been marked.

    Microcline from the Beinn Bhreck boulder. Note the crystal faces have been marked.

  • Heulandite. Mineral of the zeolite group from Kilmalcolm, Renfrewshire.

    Heulandite. Mineral of the zeolite group from Kilmalcolm, Renfrewshire.

  • Beryl associated with margarodite from Struy, Inverness-shire.

    Beryl associated with margarodite from Struy, Inverness-shire.

  • Brewsterite. Mineral of the zeolite group from Strontian, Argyll.

    Brewsterite. Mineral of the zeolite group from Strontian, Argyll.

  • Analcime. Mineral of the zeolite group from Talisker, Skye.

    Analcime. Mineral of the zeolite group from Talisker, Skye.

  • Pyromorphite, a lead phosphate from Leadhills, Dumfrieshire.

    Pyromorphite, a lead phosphate from Leadhills, Dumfrieshire.

  • Leadhillite, a secondary mineral from Leadhills, Lanarkshire.

    Leadhillite, a secondary mineral from Leadhills, Lanarkshire.

  • Hemimorphite from Leadhills, Lanarkshire. This beautiful radial zinc silicate mineral is only 3-4mm across.

    Hemimorphite from Leadhills, Lanarkshire. This beautiful radial zinc silicate mineral is only 3-4mm across.

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About the Collection

Everything about Heddle was huge. He was huge of stature, with an adventurous, inquisitive and pragmatic spirit. Using his huge 28lb sledgehammer, his dynamism enabled him to amass a collection of Scottish minerals, especially agates and rocks, the likes of which has never been bettered.

At National Museums Scotland, we look after 5,700 specimens from his collection. Find out more about Heddle and explore his amazing collection here. You can download our Heddle trail [PDF 83KB] to find specimens from his collection around the National Museum of Scotland.

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