In the village of Holymoorside, a public footpath takes you to a small quarry that yields small plant and stem remains from the Carboniferous Wingfield Flags Formation. Stem fragments are the most common find here.
♦ From the A632, head towards Chesterfield. Just before the town, a minor road at Slatepit Dale will take you to Holymoorside. Continue along this road until you see the United Reform Church. Just after this, there is a bus stop and a small lay-by. You can park here.
♦ Walk back to the United Reform Church. Just the other side of the church is a public footpath, which you need to follow.
♦ When the footpath reaches two stiles, take the left hand one. After a short distance, you will see a hill on the left. Continue for a bit until the slope becomes less steep and you can walk beside the trees on the right. The quarry is underneath these trees, on the right hand side, in the middle of the slope.
♦ Ref: SK 33960 69039
FIND FREQUENCY: ♦♦ – Fossils stems are common here, but good quality plant remains are rare. This is not particularly a good location for fossils, but is one that is more interesting for those more interested in the geology or finding fossils from different geological formations.
CHILDREN: ♦♦♦♦ – This location is suitable for children, but, when looking through the rocks at the quarry, take care as the face is fairly unstable and can fall.
ACCESS: ♦♦♦ – The site is not too far from the parking area and is fairly easy to find. The slope is also quite gentle. There are some lovely walks around this area, if you wish to make a day out of it.
TYPE: – This small overgrown, disused quarry has one face still accessible. Fossils can be found in the face or in the rocks that have fallen down the slope.
The quarry now only exposes the top part of the original sequence. The rest is covered in scree. At the top of the beds, plant stems and debris can easily be found. Decent plant remains, such as small leaves, are not common but can be found, although they were more common from the lowest levels of these flags, which are now covered by scree.
The quarry is quite dark, as it is underneath a large tree. It is best to pull out some large slab sections and split these on the grass slope so you can see more easily.
The rocks here are from the lower part of the Carboniferous Wingfield Flags Formation (Westphalian/Langsettian). These flags consist of a fine-grained sandstone with siltstone interbeds.
The location is fairly safe, but, if looking through the rocks, take care as the face is fairly unstable and can fall.
A pick or hammer and chisel is ideal for removing the flags, and a chisel-pick ideal for splitting them. Eye protection is also essential. Take plenty of paper to wrap up your finds.
This location as no restrictions, it is along a public footpath and accessible to all.