Tag: Quarry

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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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Where to find fossils

Fossils can be found in many places, most fossils are found on the beach or in quarries but many have been found in some very unusual places. Below is a list of places that you could find fossils. Please note some places such as quarries and farm fields need permission before you can enter, other places where fossils form part of the construction such as sea defences and walls, should not even be attempted. Damaging other peoples property is not only illegal, but morally wrong.

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Houghton Quarry

Houghton Quarry is an abandoned quarry, formerly used to extract chalk for a cement works onsite (which is no longer there). Quarrying stopped about 40 years ago, but, due to its size and terracing, only parts are overgrown, leaving an enormous amount of clean chalk. A large amount of this consists of boulders of various sizes on the quarry floor, yielding many good fossils. Collecting is not allowed here. Cretaceous, Disused 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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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: ♦♦

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Cogenhoe

To the southwest of Cogenhoe is an extremely overgrown quarry on the top of a hill. Although the quarry itself has now become too overgrown to collect from, the public footpath, which takes you to the quarry, climbs through several different geological formations and rocks are scattered across the fields next to the footpaths. Ploughing uncovers the rocks; and it is in them that you can find fossils. Jurassic, Ploughed Fields, Rating: ♦♦

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Wren’s Nest

The Wren’s Nest National Nature Reserve is an area of nature reserve to the northeast of Dudley in the West Midlands. It was designated as a National Nature Reserve in 1956 because of its exceptional geological and paleontological features of Silurian age. It is also a SSSI. Silurian, Disused Quarry, Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦

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Malling Down

Malling Down is a nature reserve to the west of Lewes, which contains an old, disused quarry. The actual quarry (also known as ‘Bridgwick Pit’) is within the reserve, but is not part of the reserve itself. A public footpath takes you right through to the middle of the quarry. Cretaceous, Disused Quarry, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Little Bognor Common

In the middle of this public common is a working sand pit. Since it is on public land, there are no restrictions on collecting and you can collect from the spoil heaps and sides of the pit itself, away from the main site. With permission, you can also enter the main pit. Cretaceous, Working Pit, Rating: ♦♦

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West Weare

West Weare is the best location on Isle of Portland for fossil hunting. While most of the island consists of Portland Stone, this location is Kimmeridge Clay. Most of this clay on the Isle of Portland is covered, but, here, it can be found slipped between the debris of the quarry. Jurassic, Cliffs and Foreshore, Rating: ♦♦♦

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Old Sulehay

This is a small disused quarry with a nature trail through the middle of it. There are heaps of oolitic spoil everywhere, which contain bivalves (in particular, oysters) and brachiopods. If you are lucky, ammonites can also be found, although they are uncommon. Jurassic, 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: ♦♦♦