This is a small disused quarry with a nature trail through the middle of it. There are heaps of oolitic spoil everywhere, which contain bivalves (in particular, oysters) and brachiopods. If you are lucky, ammonites can also be found, although they are uncommon.
♦ Old Sulehay can be found by driving to Yarwell and taking the western exit from the village. Then follow the road until you come to a very sharp bend with forests ahead of you. Continue round the bend.
♦ In about 0.5km, you will see a lay-by on the right hand side with a public footpath sign. Park here, where there is enough space for two cars. However, do not block the gate. If there is no space, there are other places just before the lay-by.
♦ Go through the gate and you will then see a signpost with information on the area. Take the path leading through the quarry on the right hand side.
♦ Ref: 52.57190, -0.44403
♦ Grid: TL 05548 98257
♦ Nearest Postcode: PE8 6PA
FIND FREQUENCY: ♦♦ – Fossils are quite common, but they are poorly preserved and only shells are usually found. The best material is at the back of the quarry, near the end of the footpath.
CHILDREN: ♦♦♦ – This location is suitable for children, because it is along a public footpath, with easy access and is only a short distance from the car.
ACCESS: ♦♦♦ – There is good access with a short walk through the old quarry, with nearby parking in a lay-by. This location is also easy to find.
TYPE: – Fossils are found in the scree slopes and spoil heaps from the old quarry.
This overgrown quarry is one of many quarries that once produced building stone for the local area. There are still a couple of working ones today. However, most of the old quarries in the area are inaccessible or too overgrown. This is the only one with some material still left to look through and which has a public footpath through the middle, making access much easier.
The back end of the quarry, towards the end of the path, is the best place to look. Here, there are still some original faces of fresh material. You can usually also find specimens by searching through the scree at the start of the walk at the quarry entrance.
Brachiopods and bivalves (especially oysters) are the most common here, as well as the occasional ammonite, if you are lucky.
The Wansford area was once popular for its oolitic building stone, which has been used in many houses in the region. Once, there were several quarries, but these have all now shut down, apart from just a few.
The stone is locally known as the Wansford Stone and is part of the Lincolnshire Limestone Formation. The limestone is typically calcilutites and peloidal wackestones and packstones in the lower part (the Lower Lincolnshire Limestone) and high energy ooildal and shell fragmental grainstones in the upper part (Upper Lincolnshire Limestone).
Belonging to the Inferior Oolite Group, the rocks are Bajocian in age.
Common sense when collecting at all locations should be taken. Old Sulehay is quite a safe area in general, but please take care when climbing the spoil as it is easy to slip on the loose rocks.
At Old Sulehay, the oolitic limestone also contains microscopic fossils. Therefore, we recommend taking some samples home to view under a microscope. Microfossils include forams and small shells. The material can be broken down in acid for more fossils and making it easier to pick them out. For the macrofossils, a hammer, chisel and safety goggles are recommended.
This site is an SSSI. This means you can visit the site, but hammering the bedrock is not permitted. For full information about the reasons for the status of the site and restrictions please download the PDF from Natural England – SSSI Information – Old Sulehay