Wren's Nest And the Geo Meet
Dudley had been calling for a while, the mix of geology and industrial sites act as a major magnet. So again I ventured out in the Birmingham direction, changing at new street station for a train to Tipton. After a short walk Wren's next was reached, this was the countries first geological NNR. The Wenlock limestone has been thrust up into an anticline (fold) before being heavily quarried in the mid 19th C. Some climbing found me a fossilised sea floor from the Silurian period. Lots of brachiopods, corals and crinoids. Wondering around there was plenty of evidence from the quarry, including lime kilns.
Further on the famous Dudley beach was evident, the ripples formed roughly 420 million years ago. There was also plenty of fossils about. A lady showed me a nice trilobite (I think a Calymene) but asked that I don't publish the picture.
Moving on my next target was the Black Country Living museum, plenty of interest including two mines, a Newcomen engine and other local industries. I was impressed by the quality of reconstruction.
I spent 2-3 hours in the museum, next was Netherton Tunnel which was about a mile or two away. This was along the Birmingham canal. The tunnel is very long and unlit, I took a few pictures but without a tripod most were binned. It seemed like an age walking through it, rather odd.
Coming out of the southern portal my eyes had to adjust before walking to the nearby Cobb's engine house. After a look around that and a climb of the spoil heap I ventured back into the gloom on my way home.
A little further on is Doulton's claypit which is on my list so I'll retrace my steps and do that another day (with a tripod).
Saturday was the Geo meet in Matlock Bath, after a quick run up from Leicester I met with the other geographers for a stroll up to the mining museum and back. After sampling the delights of Matlock Bath the group was joined by others for a drink and lunch in the Midland.
It was a great turnout with 13 geographers, the pub had a little trouble fitting us in!
A group photo was taken before me, Chris and Alan heading off for Wirksworth to photograph industrial sites. First of all something a bit different for us, trying to find Wirksworth church. Inside was an Anglo Saxon carving called T'owd Man, the earliest image of a miner in the world . A service was on so we abandoned that and decided to come back later. A short drive got us to Haarlem mill, an early Arkwrght mill. Sadly we couldn't get around all of the site due to security . Next was another mill around the corner, this has been converted to housing. An interesting mix of construction techniques.
Time was ticking, the service was finishing in the church. T'owd man was found in the south transept. A short distance away was Masson mills, a massive Arkwright cotton mill. The museum was excellent, showing working looms and spinning machines. Plenty of steam interest as well.
After finishing in there we said out goodbyes, I decided to walk the short distance to Cromford station. Passing the massive Cromford mill.
- Sun, 27 Mar 2011 at 17:23
- Chosen Photo
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