Excursion to Salisbury and Vale of Wardour, Easter, 1903 - Geologists' Association excursion

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Excursion to Salisbury and Vale of Wardour, Easter, 1903. (Transcription from GA Circular No. 39. Session 1902–1903)[edit]


EXCURSION SECRETARY: W. P, D. STEERING, F.G.S., 169, Gloucester Terrace, London, W.

RAILWAY ARRANGEMENTS.—Leave Waterloo (L. & S.W.R.) by the 3.0 p.m. train on Thursday, April 9th, for Salisbury, arriving at 4.42 p.m. Return on the following Tuesday evening by train, leaving Salisbury at 6.27 p.m. and due at Waterloo at 8.7 p.m.

There will be no special fares or arrangements for buying tickets for the party on this excursion, as the Company is issuing cheap third class return tickets from Waterloo to Salisbury at a fare of 8/9 available for the forward journey on April 9th, l0th or 11th, and for the return journey on April 12th, 13th, 14th. The third class ordinary return ticket available for one month is 12/-. If enough members indicate that they will be travelling by the official train, Mr. Stebbing will try to obtain reserved carriages for the party.

HOTEL ARRANGEMENTS.—headquarters at the County Hotel, Salisbury. Tariff for bed, attendance, breakfast, sandwiches and dinner, 9/- per day. Members should write to the Manageress of the hotel for a room not later than April 4th, and should state that they belong to the Geologists' Association party.

GENERAL ARRANGEMENTS.—Notice should be sent to Mr. Stebbing before April 4th by all who intend joining the excursion stating precisely for which days they require accommodation provided at the hotel, if they will be driving on the Friday excursion, and whether they will travel by the official train. An addressed postcard should be enclosed for acknowledgment.

Members should take lunch with them each day.

Association luggage labels should be used by members travelling together down to Salisbury.

Friday, April 10th.—STONEHENGE.


Breakfast at 8.30 Start at 9.30. Drive to Old Sarum, originally a British hill fort, subsequently occupied by the Romans, Saxons, and Normans, finally abandoned in 14th century, This ancient fort has been formed by excavating and adding to, a natural spur of chalk, the highest-point is probably in the Marsupite zone, but the greater part is in the lower Uintacrinus bed—examine pit on the north of the outer ring, where fossils have been found.

Leaving Old Sarum, the drive up the Valley of the Avon to Amesbury affords a good example of the way chalk valleys are formed by the action of the old litters in Pleistocene times, evidenced by the altered slope of the chalk spurs and the presence of patches of gravel and many parallel terraces along the sides of the valley. One of the best examples of this action will be seen at Woodford.

Several chalk pits will he noticed on the route : these are mainly in the zone of Micraster cor-anguinum, but owing to a slight dip to the south, the pits towards Amesbury are in the lower zone of Micraster cor-testudinarium the chalk rock is not exposed in this valley.

Visit Stonehenge—the ruins of a Megalithic structure, erected towards the end of the Neolithic or in the early part of the Bronze Age. The original plan is that of a horseshoe within a circle. The stones forming the outer circle and the larger horseshoe are all of kcal origin, and consist of boulders from the Woolwich and Reading ; Beds, whilst the smaller horseshoe and inner circle are formed of the so-called" Blue Stones," stones foreign to the district, varieties of diabase, altered rhyolites and diorites. and micaceous sandstone.

Leave Stonehenge, and drive back across the Plain, examine the Chalk Pit at Camp Hill, the higher level gravel at Bemerton, and the Pleistocene brick earth at Fisherton.

By the kind and courteous permission of Sir Edmund Antrobus the party will be admitted free to Stonehenge.

Saturday, April 11th.—TEFFONT and CHILMARK.


Breakfast at 8.30. Leave hotel at 9.40 for 10.0 train to Dinton (L. & S.W.R.) .arriving at 10.18. Return fare, 1s. 4d.

Walk to the Purbeck quarries at Teffont Ewyas and see there the upper part of the Lower and the lower part of the Middle Purbeck Beds.

Continue the walk to the large quarries in the Chilmark valley where can be seen several good sections of the Portland staia and probably one section of the lowest part of the overlying Lower Purbecks. Fossils plentiful. If possible go into the caves from which stone has been taken. The sections at Chilmark show the best inland exposure of the Portland Beds, and their relation to the Lower Purbecks.

The quarries of the Chilmark valley, especially on the Teffont side, are of such great interest that a considerable time will be spent in them. Return by a somewhat different route to Dinton station. Return train, 5.44. for Salisbury.

Total walking distance, 6 miles.

Monday, April l3th.—TISBURY.


Breakfast at 8.30. Leave hotel at 9.40 for 10.0 train to Tisbury (L. & S.W.R.) arriving at 10.28. Return fare, 2s. 1d.

Walk to Wockley quarry, where may be seen a good section of the Lower Purbecks and their relation to the Portland Beds.

From this point ascend the higher ground to the north to Lady Down, from ; which one of the been general views of the Vale of Wardour can be obtained ; visit on the W. slope of the Down, near Ridge, an interesting quarry in the Lower Purbecks. Afterwards see the sections of the Upper Greenland in the lanes above Ridge. Return train Tisbury, 1.34 for Salisbury.

Total walking distance about 7 miles.

Tuesday, April 14th.—ALDERBURY.


Breakfast at 8.30. Start at 9.30 to walk to Alderbury.

Visit chalk pit at Shute End, zone of Belemnitella mutcronata ; the pot holes are filled with sand and clay from the Reading Beds from the hill to the east.

Walk to Alderbury gravel pit—an outlier of Plateau gravel (southern drift of Prestwich) from which numerous Eolithic implements have been obtained.

Visit railway cutting to see London Clay and Reading Beds. The section is now unfortunately, much overgrown.

Walk through Clarendon Woods to examine chalk pits in zone of Belem. mucronata.

Notice the sand polish on a large Sarsen Stone derived from Plateau gravel. Walking distance about 7 miles.

[Other visits]

There may be an opportunity of visiting the Blackmore Museum and some of the chalk pits in the neighbourhood of Salisbury. The zones are best observed in the following quarries

Shute End, Alderbury, Clarendon Wood — Belemitella mucronata-zone.

Britford, East and West Hainham — Actinocamax quadrata-zone.

Bishop Down, Ford Hill — Marsupites-zone.

Devizes Road (Harding's Pit), Old Sarum — Uintacrinus-zone.

Stratford, Quidhampton — Microster cor-anguinum-zone.

Hornington, Coombe Bissett — Chalk Rock.


Geological Survey Map,1-inch, New Series, Sheet 296. Colour printed. Price 1s. 6d.

(Member, attending this Excursion are recommended to obtain this map.)

Index Geological Survey Map, Sheet 11, 4 miles to 1 inch. Price as. 6d.

1876. LONG, Stonehenge and its Barrows." Wilts Archaeological Magazine

1880. BLAKE, Rev. J. F.—" The Portland Rocks of England." Quart, Journ. Geol. Soc., vol. xxxvi, p. 199.

1881. ANDREWS, Rev. W. R.—. Outline of the Geology of the Vale of Wardour." Proc. Dorset W. H. Club, vol. v, p. 68.

1881. HUDLESTON, W. H.—" Excursion to Salisbury, Stonehenge, and Vale of Wardour." Proc. Geol. Assoc., vol, vii, pp. 134 and 161.

1882. STEVENS, E. T.—" Jottings on some of the objects of interest in the Stonehenge excursion."

1891. JUKES-BROWN, A. J., and ANDREWS, Rev. W. R.—."The Lower Cretaceous Series of the Vale of Wardour." Geological Magazine".

1894. ANDREWS, Rev. W. R., and JUKES BROWN, A. J.—" The Purbeck Beds of the Vale of Wardour." Quart. Jour, Geol. Assoc., vol. 1, p.44.

1895. WOODWARD, H. B.—" The Jurassic Rocks of Britain," vol. v, pp. 203 and 267. Geol. Surv. Memoir.

1896. PRESTWICH, SIR J.—"On some Controverted Questions of Geology."

1900. JUKES BROWN, A. J.—"The Cretaceous Rocks of Britain," vol. i, p. 227. Geol. Surv. Memoir.

1901. Rowe, A. W.—"Zones of the White Chalk of the English Chalk." Proc. Geol. Assoc.

1902. GOWLAND, W., and JUDD, J. W.—"Recent Excavations at Stonehenge, with note on the nature and origin of the. Rock Fragments."

1903. BULLEN, R. ASHINGTON.—"Eoliths from the S. and S.W. of England." Geological Magazine for March.

1903. REID, C.—" The Geology of the Country around Salisbury," to illustrate Sheet 298 of the Geological Map. Geol. Surv. Memoir. Price 1s. 6d.

For full reference to works on Stonehenge consult HARRISON'S Bibliography of Stonehenge," Wilts Mag., 1901, vol. xxxii.