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FORTHCOMING EVENTS

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​For forthcoming events please click on the 'Shows & Fairs' tab above.​​​​​
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We exhibit at events throughout the East of England and at specialist rock and fossil shows nationwide such as the Oxford Mineral and Fossil Show.​​​​​​​ We will also be exhibiting at the Festival of Geology in London - a great day out for all the family!

​​​​​​​Click here for details of the Oxford ​​​Mineral and Fossil Show. 

 

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THE GEOLOGY OF BRITAIN 
Click here for:  Recommended books
Click here for:  Clubs and societies



An ancient heritage

Click here for a table of rock formations in 
the UK (2.3MB)




Click here for maps 
showing the age of 

UK surface rocks


Click here for a geological map of Great Britain (bedrock)

A THREE BILLION YEAR JOURNEY
CLICK HERE FOR A TOUR OF THE ROCKS OF BRITAIN



Click here for details of the small scale geological map of Britain

 

The British Isles has a remarkable variety of rock types for its size, providing evidence for tropical deserts to glaciers and just about everything in between.  Huge mountain ranges once existed over Scotland and South-West England, the roots of which are now exposed revealing igneous rocks such as gabbro and granite, and metamorphic rocks such as gneiss and slate. Much of the rest of the country consists of great thicknesses of sedimentary rocks, mostly laid down by shallow and deep seas over hundreds of millions of years. This patchwork of rock types provides a magnificently diverse surface geology, revealed in multi-coloured splendour on a geological map of Britain. Click on the image title (right) for a table of UK rock formations.

The geological map appears complex at first sight but it is possible to quickly make sense of it, particularly the sedimentary rocks that make up the surface of most of Britain. For example, the oldest sedimentary rocks occur in the extreme north-west of Scotland and the surface rocks get younger as you move south until the youngest rocks of all are reached in East Anglia. The rocks represent the four major eras of geological time (Precambrian, Palaeozoic, Mesozoic and Caenozoic). Click on the image title (right) for maps showing the approximate age of surface sedimentary rocks.

Geological maps are available for the whole of Britain from the British Geological Survey (BGS).  Maps are usually of two types: bedrock & superficial or just bedrock.  Bedrock geology (formerly called solid geology) is, as the name suggests, all the main rocks which make up the structure of Britain.  Superficial or Quaternary geology (formerly called 'drift) is the relatively thin cover of varied deposits (mostly sand, gravel and clay) laid down during the Ice Age (the Quaternary period) by glaciers and rivers etc.  For large scale maps of local areas it is usually essential to have the bedrock and superficial geology on a map so you can identify everything beneath the soil cover.  For small scale maps (e.g. the whole of the UK) the addition of the superficial geology would make the map unneccessarily complex and so these are published as bedrock only. For much of the country it is the bedrock geology that is visible and is responsible for the shaping of the landscape.


A classic small scale map of the UK is availabe for purchase on this website. It is ideal for beginners wanting to know more about Britain's rocks. Click on the image opposite for details. 


Recommended books


CORNWALL'S GEOLOGY AND SCENERY.  
By Colin Bristow. (Second edition 2004).  Published by Cornish Hillside Publications.

ESSEX ROCK: A LOOK BENEATH THE ESSEX LANDSCAPE.
By Gerald Lucy. (1999). Published by the Essex Rock and Mineral Society.

EXPLORING LAKELAND ROCKS AND LANDSCAPES.
Edited by Susan Beale. (2008). Published by the Cumberland Geological Society.

ROCKS AND SCENERY OF THE PEAK DISTRICT.  
By Trevor Ford. (2006). Published by Landmark Publishing.

SANDSTONE AND SEA STACKS: A BEACHCOMBER'S GUIDE TO BRITAIN'S COASTAL GEOLOGY
By Ronald Turnbull. (2011).  Published by Frances Lincoln.

SCOTLAND: THE CREATION OF ITS NATURAL LANDSCAPE. A LANDSCAPE FASHIONED BY GEOLOGY.

By Alan McKirdy & Roger Crofts. (1999). Published by Scottish Natural Heritage.

THE GEOLOGY OF BRITAIN: AN INTRODUCTION.  
By Peter Toghill. (2000). Published by Swan Hill Press.

THE HIDDEN LANDSCAPE: A JOURNEY INTO THE GEOLOGICAL PAST.  
By Richard Fortey. (1993). Latest edition published by Bodley Head in 2010. 

THE LIE OF THE LAND: AN UNDER-THE-FIELD GUIDE TO THE BRITISH ISLES.
By Ian Vince. (2010). Pan Books.

 

 

        

         



Clubs and societies
 

Essex Rock and Mineral society
www.erms.org
The largest geological society in Essex, founded in 1967.  Based in Hornchurch but with members throughout the county.
 
Geologists’ Association
www.geologistsassociation.org.uk
The Geologists’ Association is Britain’s largest society for amateur geologists.
 
Rockwatch
www.rockwatch.org.uk
A nationwide club for young people interested in rocks, minerals and fossils.
 

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