Category: Wales – Central

Central Wales is famous for Ordovician trilobites from the Ordovician and there are a few sites that expose rocks rich in these fossils. One excellent location is Little Wern, which is a private quarry open to those staying at the nearby holiday cottage. Another location situated near to Little Wern is Bettws, which has the same trilobite-rich rocks, although they tend to be fragmentary. And there are many more locations in old quarries, streams and outcrops.

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Upper Gilwern Quarry

On the edge of the Brecon Beacons, Upper Gilwern Hill is a site long known for its well-preserved and complete trilobites. The hill is made up of rocks from the Lower and Middle Ordovician, and the privately owned quarry is accessible to parties on request. The trilobite fossils here are plentiful and the chances of finding a good number is very high. Ordovician, Private Quarry, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Little Wern

Tucked away in the fold of a valley near Llandrindod Wells, in Mid Wales, sits Little Wern holiday cottage. The cottage has its own small quarry, which is solely open to visitors staying there. And what’s more, it is stuffed full of trilobite remains. Ordovician, Private Quarry, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Llanfawr Quarries

These series of disused quarries, in Llandrindod Wells, are rich in trilobites and graptolites. The largest of the quarries has deep water (also shown on OS maps), and is now fenced over following an accident in which a child sadly drowned. A second quarry, slightly further to the northeast, contains no water and has easy access, with productive shales. Ordovician, Disused Quarry, Rating: ♦♦♦♦

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Cwm Craig Ddu

Cwm Craig Ddu is a roadside section found to the east of Llangammarch Wells, along the B4519. A disused quarry (now overgrown) is also present on the hilltop, but fossils can really only now be found along the cutting. Early fossil plants and small bivalves can be collected here. This site is a SSSI, so hammering the bedrock is strictly prohibited. Silurian, Roadside Cutting, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Bach Y Craig

Bach Y Craig is a stream section, rich in trilobites and graptolites. The latter are mostly complete, but are also very fragile and paper thin. Therefore, when splitting, their segments often end up being separated on either side of the split. The site is also dark, being in a thickly wooded area, and is very hard to find without a map or GPS. Ordovician, Stream, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Bettws

This small section of stream cutting in the middle of nowhere is worth a visit to look for trilobite remains. Fossils are not particularly frequent, but, with some careful searching, you should find trilobite pieces, as well as graptolites. Ordovician, Stream cutting, Rating: ♦♦

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Craig-Y-Fro

This disused quarry is situated along the main A470 through the Brecon Beacons. The quarry also contains a waterfall, which keeps the faces clean. There is strictly a no hammering allowed, due to SSSI rules and because the site falls within the Brecon Beacons National Park. However, loose material can be collected from, especially at the base of the waterfall and from the stream running through the quarry. Devonian, Disused Quarry, Rating: ♦♦