Llangollen is Carboniferous Limestone scenery heaven. About a kilometre and a half north of the town, the Eglwyseg Escarpment presents some really fantastic views. What’s more, among the huge amount of scree that covers its scarp slope, fossil brachiopods and corals can be found..
♦ Parking is found just less than 5km north of Llangollen at the northern end of the escarpment.
♦ From the car park, follow the road to your right down to the ford and then follow it west. As you walk, you will see scree on the slopes, where it is safe to search for fossils.
♦ Walk along the path until it descends to the road. From here, you should turn around and retrace your steps or you can walk back to the car park along the road.
FIND FREQUENCY: ♦♦♦ – A great thickness of Carboniferous Limestone strata can be investigated along the escarpment and, as a result, the types and abundance of fossils tends to vary from place to place. In some areas, finds are very low, whereas, in others, they are much higher.
CHILDREN: ♦♦♦ – There is a well-marked path along the side of the escarpment, but, in places, this is narrow and there are fairly steep slopes to one side. The scree can also be loose, so children should be fully supervised at all times.
ACCESS: ♦♦♦ – Fossils are found along a well-marked path, but, to fully investigate the location, a walk of several kilometres is required. The path and the nature of the scree will not appeal to everyone, and the car park at the northern end of the escarpment can be difficult to find from Llangollen.
TYPE: – Fossils are found in the scree on the sides of the Offa’s Dyke Path, which runs along the escarpment’s scarp slope.
The Eglwyseg Escarpment is approximately 6.5km long. However, the portion of the Offa’s Dyke Path from which the fossiliferous scree can be explored is only half as long, as the path follows a road at the base of the escarpment’s southern end.
If walking from the car park at the northern end of the escarpment to the ford, as you walk west, you will see scree on the slopes where it is safe to search for fossils. The most common fossils are brachiopods and corals. These will be more abundant in some areas than others.
The Carboniferous Limestone at Llangollen is Visean in age and is part of the Clwyd Limestone Group, which is about 330myrs old. There is a diverse range of limestone facies exhibiting local dolomitisation, with subordinate sandstone and mudstone units. The geology of the area records the initiation and growth of a carbonate platform along the northern flank of the Wales-Brabant Massif.
This is a remote location and, as such, visiting alone is not advised. Mobile phone signals can also be lost in this area, so it is important that you tell someone where you are going and what time you expect to be back. Some areas of scree may be unstable, so you should not attempt to climb any steep areas. As the walk is fairly long, make sure you take refreshments.
This is a SSSI and, as such, no hammering is allowed. If you are going to collect loose specimens, you will need a bag and packing material, but keep collecting to a minimum. Sturdy walking boots are required, along with a drink and a snack as the walk is fairly long. A camera will come in handy, as this is a very beautiful location.
This site is an SSSI. This Special Site of Scientific Interest, means you can visit the site, but hammering the bedrock is not permitted.