Wiltshire Geology Group
Wiltshire Geology Group

NEW...

EXPLORE THE GEOLOGY OF THE SALISBURY CATHEDRAL CLOSE

by Steve Hannath 

A new guide on the building stones of Salisbury Cathedral Close:  Price £2.00. Obtainable from Salisbury Museum, the Cathedral shop, Salisbury Information Centre and the author: 

stevehannath@talktalk.net  

Wiltshire's landscape is inextricably bound up with the rocks beneath the surface. It is our aim to raise public awareness of Earth Sciences and draw peoples attention to the way the landscape, and the towns and villages within it, are influenced by the underlying geology.

Wiltshire's Geology

Local Sites Of Interest

Name Location Details
Sarsen stones
  •  Lockeridge Dene (SU 146 674)
  • Fyfield Down SSSI (SU 136 709)
  • Piggledean SSSI (SU 141 689)
Quartzitic sandstone boulders scattered around on the chalk downland valley sides.
Westbury Chalk Pit and White Horse View ST 890 507 Information board beside the public footpath, overlooking the chalk quarry and a trail guide is available to download.
West Harnham Chalk Pit SU 128 287 SSSI shows the White (Upper) Chalk with fossils 
Dead Maid Quarry Industrial Estate, Mere Mere (ST 803 324)   SSSI shows the transition from the Upper Greensand up to the Chalk.
Coxhill Lane, Potterne  Potterne byway (SU 001 584) A hollow way in Upper Greensand much-used locally for building. 
Swindon Town Gardens and disused railway cutting  Swindon Old Town (SU 151 837 and SU 153 832) Town Gardens is in an old quarry and fossils are easily visible in the walls; the Wildlife Garden (SU 151 837) has the uppermost Jurassic Portland-Purbeck rocks visible in its side and the old railway cutting cycle path just to the south (SU 153 832) has an information board and Upper Jurassic fossils, though you are not allowed to hammer them (both are SSSIs). 
River Avon banks, Kellaways  Kellaways (ST 943 744) SSSI of historical interest as this is the type locality for the Jurassic Callovian Stage (Callovian is the latinisation of Kellaways!) and the Kellaways Rock can be seen: a calcareous sandstone yielding well-preserved fossils. The riverside exposures are undercut and mostly dangerous to get at! 
Seend ironstone  Seend - can be seen in the A361 road-cut below The Bell Inn (ST 938 608).  A local development of iron-rich Lower Greensand that was the basis of an iron industry in the 19th C - there is furnace slag in the pub car park walls. (Part of SSSI). 
Leigh Delamere M4 Services  M4 Services Eastbound/north side Travelodge garden (ST 892 793) An information board explains the excellent bedding structures - dune-like formations of the Jurassic sub-tropical sea-floor (ST 892 793)
Giddeahall A420 road-cutting  Giddeahall, (ST 854 746) A trail guide to download; a pretty river valley has the remains of old water-mills: a lot of industrial archaeology. 
Bradford-on-Avon canal-side excavation Bradford-on-Avon (ST 825 603 near the marina)  Canal-side excavation showing the Jurassic sea floor, complete with fossil fauna; by the picnic tables and car park above the tow-path (ST 825 603, near the marina) - with information board to explain - this site is included in the Explore the Landscape Around Bradford-on-Avon and Avoncliff trail. (By the picnic tables and car park above the tow-path upstream of the marina). 
Stone quarries Now abandoned, Murhill (ST 795 607) and Boxhill (ST 833 688) Old quarries in pretty woods with lots of 'Bath Stone'; access is OK at present. 
Oliver's Castle viewpoint Devizes (SU 001 647) Can easily pick out the geology from the chalk of the escarpment to the Avon valley clay - this site is included in the Explore the Landscape Around the Vale of Pewsey guide. 
Whitesheet Hill  Near Mere (ST 805 347) View looking over towards Mere (Mere fault) - can see the changes in landscape if you have a geology map 
 Win Green Vale of Wardour (ST 925 207)  View to north over Vale of Wardour, where the anticline structure is picked out by ridges of Chalk (need a geology map; ST 925 207) 
     

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