This section includes a number of local geology articles that have been reproduced from the Mercian Geologist in .pdf format (the latest Adobe Acrobat reader can be downloaded from the link at the bottom of this page).
In the summer of 2009, the opening of a big new visitor centre marked a welcome step forward for Creswell Crags, on the Nottinghamshire-Derbyshire border close to Worksop. The recent discovery of cave art at Creswell hugely raised its profile, and the whole site has now been greatly improved as befits an important archaeological location. The road that ran through the crags has been diverted away, the old sewage works is long gone, and the landscaped parkland now offers a lovely walk, with or without a visit into the caves.
Creswell Crags (PDF File size 519Kb)
Waltham, T. (2010) Creswell Crags. Mercian Geologist, 17 (3), 216-217.
Conservation of the cave statues in the Nottingham sandstone
Without doubt the finest single feature within the
sandstone caves that underlie Nottingham is the group
of statues depicting "Daniel in the Lions' Den", which
lie inside a cave cut into the sandstone escarpment
overlooking The Park from the northeast. These lifesize
statues are a real work of art, carved from bedrock
in the back wall of a cave excavated under the garden
of Alderman Thomas Herbert some time in the mid-
1800s (Waltham, 1996). Sadly, they are suffering from
the ravages of time, and a measure of conservation was
becoming appropriate. The owner of the site was
unable to take action, and the city of Nottingham takes
almost no interest in its cave heritage (this cave has no
listed status, unlike six elsewhere under the city), so
the East Midlands Geological Society stepped in.
Conservation of the cave statues in the Nottingham sandstone (PDF File size 197Kb)
Waltham,T. (2007) Conservation of the cave statues in the Nottingham sandstone. Mercian Geologist, 16 (4), 278-279
Nottingham Market Square
Britain's largest market square has been re-vamped.
Modern, expensive, trendy, bleak, dramatic, sterile,
futuristic, wasteful - different people each have their
own views. But now that it's all finished, we can
peruse the new geological delights of the city centre.
Nottingham Market Square (PDF File size 150Kb)
Turner,N. & Waltham,T. (2007) Nottingham Market Square. Mercian Geologist, 16 (4), 289
To many observers, Castle Rock may appear just as the lump of ground that the castle or its successors stand on. But the rock itself is a major geological landmark in the city, with its bare sandstone cliff rising 38 m to the castle terrace.
Castle Rock (webpage link - to the full article)
Waltham,T. & Howard,A. (2004) Castle Rock. Mercian Geologist, 16 (1), 37-42
The reef at High Tor
Impossible to miss where it looms over the A6 highway into the Peak District, High Tor is well known as a fine example of a Carboniferous reef - known more precisely as a carbonate mud mound.
The reef at High Tor (webpage link - to the full article)
Gutteridge, P. (2003) The reef at High Tor. Mercian Geologist, 15 (4), 235-237
The Hemlock Stone and Society logo
One of the East Midlands'
most well-known geological landmarks, the Hemlock Stone is of course
very familiar to Mercian Geologist readers, having adorned the cover
of each individual part of Volumes 13 and 14. The Hemlock Stone now
sits proudly in the centre of the Society's new logo, so it seems
fitting to choose the Stone as the subject of this issue's 'From the Archives'.
Hemlock Stone and Society logo (PDF File size 386Kb)
Howard, A. (2002) The Hemlock Stone. Mercian Geologist, 15 (3), 153-154.
Further information about the Hemlock Stone picture within the above pdf file - click here
(thanks to Des Sheridan from Spondon, Derby)
The explosion crater at Fauld
While in no way a natural feature, the huge crater above the Fauld
gypsum mine, 8 km northwest of Burton upon Trent, is one of the more
bizarre components of the East Midlands landscape. It originated in
one of the world' largest explosions of wartime munitions, which were
being stored in the old mine. The site has changed little since then,
and still warrants a visit; there is nothing else like it in Britain.
The Fauld Crater (PDF File size 536Kb)
For a colour picture of the Fauld Crater click here
Waltham, T. (2001) The Fauld Crater. Mercian Geologist, 15 (2), 123-125
Peat subsidence at the Holme Post
The fenlands along the eastern borders of the East Midlands are Britain's
largest area of peat soils. Prized by the farmer for their rich organic
soil, the fens are only useable and inhabitable when the natural marshes
have been drained. But peat is dreaded by the engineer because it
is weak, compressible and highly shrinkable. When peat lands are drained,
the ground surface subsides. It's a phenomenon known world wide, and
the world's finest record of land subsidence on peat is provided by
the Holme Post, just 9 km due south of Peterborough cathedral.
The Holme Post (PDF File size 410Kb)
Waltham, T. (2001) The Holme Post. Mercian Geologist, 15 (1), 49-51.
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