About York Geology Club
How can I find out more?
Field Trips and Photos
Contact Information for York Geology Club
What would you join the club for?
To go on Field trips
2 votes (25%)
To meet people with like interests
1 votes (13%)
To learn something new
2 votes (25%)
To attend the Winter lectures
2 votes (25%)
1 votes (13%)
What do we do?
We meet every month (usually on the third Sunday) from March to November for field excursions, with members sharing transport. The trips give ample opportunity to observe and study the geology, and, wherever possible, to collect interesting specimens, In May each year we organise a weekend field trip to allow us to visit more remote sites. In recent years we have travelled to Northumberland, the Norfolk Coast, Weardale, the Lake District and Scotland.
We hold six winter evening meetings, generally on the second Wednesday of each month. The meetings involve short talks or demonstrations by club members or guest speakers. Everyone is welcome and we use a York City Centre location for convenience.
Articles by Members
The Howardian Hills
How many times have you driven along the switchback section of the A64, maybe glancing down to the winding river Derwent? But have you ever troubled to seek out the quarries, old churches and intricate landscapes?
This is precisely what a small group of us (including this YGC member) did under the guidance of Richard Myerscough supported by Pickering WEA in 2008 and Hull University this year. A geologist, Richard also leads the Ryedale Building Stones group, bringing both unbounded enthusiasm and excellent handouts to his field trips.
After a preliminary meeting when we discussed the Howardian – Flamborough fault zone, which may be associated with the Craven fault, and the crumpling of the area between Hovingham and the Derwent, we spent one day thrashing deep into Hilderby woods seeking its unique white limestone and a second around Sheriff Hutton.
Between the Castle Howard road and the A64 we explored the wooded hillside seeking quarries, vernacular buildings and landscape features. The area is on the South face of an anticline with quarries at bottom, middle and top and the few dwellings at the top of the oxford clay spring line which bounds the fertile farmland in the valley bottom. The area was settled by the Romans who brought “slate” from Brandsby to roof their villa. The forest quarries revealed Birdsall Calcareous grit below Hilderby Limestone. The middle one hidden deep in the woods was a prime source of the limestone. The upper quarry showed the junction with the overlying Malton Oolite rich in shells, coral heads and limestone boulders, supporting the view that the HL was fine Calcium mud which washed into a graben or basin. The HL is seen in many high status buildings close to the Derwent with odd blocks in churches further afield, unmistakable with razor sharp fossils exposed when the white stone has been eroded.
Our second day commenced looking at the local stone with some HL, dogger and cobbles in Bulmer church. Then we crossed a deep and narrow valley which opened into a large plane to the North, best viewed from our next church at Sheriff Hutton. These are major post-ice age features similar to neighbouring glacial lake Pickering and Kirkham Gorge. Glacial lake Mowthorpe is bounded to the North by Terrington Bank and, after examining Sheriff Hutton castle, church and the interior of the Castle Inn, we drove through Terrington to Mowthorpe. Struggling up a hillside of middle lias Staithes sandstone and into more dense woodland we came upon a huge shallow quarry from whence the stones of the castle were hewn, to be rafted across the Winter flooded lake. Whether it is Middle Jurassic Whitwell Oolite or Dogger is still being debated.
The complex faulting in the Howardian Hills and its AONB status make it a haven for the walker and the geologist!
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