Date and Time
Cross Hands Quarry, Moreton-in-Marsh GL56 0SP
Field Trip Description
This SSSI site has been described as the most fossil-rich site in the county, the management of which earned the Newman family an English Nature Merit Award in 1998. Some of the most extensive and northerly exposures of the Clypeus Grit (Upper Inferior Oolite) underlie the basal units of the Hook Norton Limestone, (Lower Great Oolite Group). The Clypeus Grit comprises 3.5m of rubbly, fossiliferous pisolitic and oolitic limestones with interbedded, less resistant marl units. Bivalves and brachiopods are particularly abundant but also irregular echinoids (Clypeus being one) plus gastropods, corals and serpulid worms. The overlying Hook Norton Limestone is less fossiliferous but bivalves predominate and fragments of wood (ginkgo) are also common.
There are also many calcite-lined open joints giving evidence for cambering. This is a function of the relationship between local topography and geology where great thicknesses of Lower Jurassic argillaceous sediments capped by Middle Jurassic limestones have been dissected by deep, broad valleys.
Meet at the quarry, SP 269290, at 10.30 a.m. It is situated about 4 miles west of Chipping Norton, on the north side of the A44, immediately to the west of the Cross Hands Inn. Hard hats and strong footwear essential.
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