Tag: Graptolites

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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 staying at the onsite Shepherd’s Hut self catering accommodation. 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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Abereiddy Bay

Abereiddy is the best and easiest place in the UK to find graptolites. It is also an outstanding place where you can see and photograph in situ graptolites, crammed into the sloping bedrocks. Although this site is a SSSI (so hammering the bedrock is strictly prohibited), there is no reason why you would want to disturb the bedrock. The foreshore is full of rocks that can be picked up without tools and contain better specimens than those in the bedrock. Ordovician, Cliffs and Foreshore, 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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Bach Y Graig

Bach Y Graig 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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Fishguard

Fishguard is a similar location to Abereiddy Bay, where graptolites can be found in shales, wedged between the volcanic rocks in the cliffs. However, unlike Abereiddy Bay, there are far fewer sections where these can be found, and they are also much harder to find. Ordovician, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦

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Ardwell Bay

Ardwell Bay, south of Girvan, is the best coastal location in the area for finding fossils. Graptolites are the most common, with orthocone fragments and trilobites also being quite common. In addition, brachiopods can be found. The rocks you need to split are easy to identify, being black when weathered. Ordovician, Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦

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Dob’s Linn

Dob’s Linn is a famous location for graptolites and, indeed, is one of the best, and you can collect many different species form the shale. However, the location can be hard to find, but it is well worth the trip. Be sure you bring paper to wrap up your specimens. Ordovician, Silurian, Cuttings, Outcrops, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Woodland Bay

The rocks at Shalloch (to the south of Girvan) to Whitehouse, including Woodland Bay, contain fossil graptolites and trilobites. Girvan is a well-documented area for fossils and is one of the most popular areas to collect in Scotland. This foreshore location is easy to access, but you will need the correct tools. Ordovician, Silurian, Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Aldons Quarry

The volcanic rocks at Aldons Quarry contain a variety of Ordovician fossils, including trilobites, brachiopods, bivalves, cephalopods, gastropods, graptolites and goniatites. They can be found in mudstones, which can be seen in the scree slopes. Ordovician, Disused Quarry, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Craighead Quarry

Ordovician rocks at Craighead Quarry are very fossiliferous and this disused quarry is often visited by local schools and colleges to study the fossils and geology at this site. While it is now quite overgrown, there is still plenty to be found. The most common finds are graptolites, brachiopods, trilobites and goniatites. Ordovician, Disused Quarry, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Kirkcudbright

The coastline to the south of Kirkcudbright has low cliffs of shale, which is also exposed along the foreshore. There are several areas where the shales contain fossils from certain zones, although these are very hard to find. Graptolites, cephalopods and crustaceans can all be found. Silurian, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦

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Girvan (Shalloch)

There are many areas to explore near Girvan, including Woodland Bay, Ardwell Bay and Kennedy’s Pass. This guide covers the rocks on the beach at Girvan (Shalloch), but this is not as productive as others in the area and success tends to rely on scouring tides. Ordovician, Foreshore, Rating: ♦

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Kennedy’s Pass

At Kennedy’s Pass, there is a formation that is full of conglomerate units, mudstones, siltstones and sandstones. Within this, you can find a wide range of fossils, including trilobites, graptolites, corals and brachiopods. However, they are not easy to find. The productive beds are lower down, which are mostly covered up by the less productive upper beds. Ordovician, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Druidston Haven

Abundant graptolites can be found at Druidston Haven. Like much of the Pembrokeshire Coast, the site is a site of special scientific interest (SSSI), which means that, although loose pebbles and smaller rocks may be investigated and collected, large boulders and the cliffs must not be damaged. Ordovician and Carboniferous, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Porthgain

The bay at Porthgain is eroded out of Ordovician shales, with the headlands on either side of it composed of more resistant igneous rocks. Although huge piles of shale can be found on the clifftop, fossils are sparse. Ordovician, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦

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Stockdale Quarry

At Stockdale Quarry, Ordovician slates yield a variety of fauna including trilobites, corals, graptolites, brachiopods, bivalves and gastropods. This disused quarry is situated at the top of a large hill. Ordovician, Disused Quarry, Rating: ♦♦

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Hodgson How Quarry

The fossils found at Hodgson How Quarry can be seen in the local Keswick Museum, where there are some superb and unusual species of graptolites. These are common in the beds at this disused quarry. In fact, this is one of the best graptolite locations in the Lake District. .Ordovician, Disused Quarry, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Coniston

The area around the town of Coniston from which fossils and minerals can be collected is quite large. It includes several quarries, and several becks and scree slopes. There is also a number of small cuttings. Graptolites and trilobites can be collected here, along with brachiopods. Silurian, Ordovician, Cuttings, Disused Quarries, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Causey Pike

Causey Pike is over 600m high. It is a small mountain with many outcrops of rock and scree slopes. Trilobites, trace fossils and graptolites can all be found in the scree when climbing towards the summit. However, this trip is hard going. Ordovician, Outcrops, Rating: ♦

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Vinnels

This location is so over collected that you have to crawl into the cutting and it can be hard to get any decent rock samples for splitting, but the rewards are worth the hard work. Superb trilobites and graptolites in excellent condition can be found, and some are complete. Silurian, Stream and Cuttings, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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The Onny Trail

This is another walk along a designated geological route visiting two stream sections and two further cuttings, including an old railway cutting and a quarry. The rocks here are Silurian, Ordovician and Pre-Cambrian. Shells, graptolites and trilobites can all be found. Silurian, Ordovician, Cuttings, Stream, and Disused Quarry, Rating: ♦♦♦