Category: Derbyshire

Derbyshire is full of outcrops and cuttings of Carboniferous Limestone. These rocks contain numerous brachiopods, corals and crinoids. The problem is that the rock can be very hard and the fossils difficult to get out. The Carboniferous marine shale in the area is also highly fossiliferous. This is a fantastic area for explorers, being not as commercialised as the Lake District. It is also famous for mining and particularly minerals such as Blue John.

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Hall Dale Quarry

This is an extremely large, open disused quarry, which is rich in fossils. It is one of the best locations in Derbyshire, being easy to access. You could spend days here, finding superb fossils. The quarry is so large that it is even possible to get lost. Several smaller quarries are linked to the main quarry, which has three levels. Carboniferous, Disused Quarry, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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West Quarry

This is a large quarry owned by the National Stone Centre. It exposes the Eyam Limestone Formation, which is full of excellent corals, crinoids, bivalves and brachiopods. Access is easy by entering the National Stone Centre. Carboniferous, Disused Quarry, Rating: ♦♦♦♦

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Marsh Brook

Marsh Brook cuts through Carboniferous marine deposits. These are rich in goniatites, bivalves and gastropods, but also contain many other types of fossils. Often, these are not particularly well preserved, being flattened, but the shale is also extremely rich in well-preserved microfossils. Carboniferous, Stream Embankment, Rating: ♦♦♦♦

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Butts Quarry

In this large, disused quarry, not only can you see plenty of fossils, but the site is rich in the minerals, galena, fluorite and calcite. It has very steep sides, with plenty of rocks to look through around the edges of the quarry. Carboniferous, Disused Quarry, Rating: ♦♦♦♦

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Castleton

Castleton has long been known for its Carboniferous Limestone, its caves and for the Blue John semi-precious stone mined here. Much of the area is owned by the National trust and is designated an site of special scientific interest (SSSI). This means that fossils can only be looked at and photographed, but must not be collected. Carboniferous, Outcrops, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Steeplehouse Quarry

This somewhat overgrown quarry is owned by the National Stone Centre. It exposes the Eyam Limestone Formation, rich in crinoids and molluscs. Large blocks have been left on the quarry floor, in the past, the bedding surfaces of these slabs has yielded shark remains. Carboniferous, Disused Quarry, Rating: ♦♦