Field Trip: Geology of South-East Wiltshire

Leader: Isobel Geddes, author of 'Hidden Depths', the Geology of Wiltshire

Entry Fee

Members: Free

Visitors: £3.00

Date and Time



Pepperbox Hill, Salisbury Road, Alderbury, West Grimstead, Wiltshire, SP5 2QE

Field Trip Description

After the very popular trips with Isobel to Southwest and North Wiltshire in 2002 and 2003, this one will focus on part of the area covered by Chapter 8 of Isobel’s book (see below), the southeast corner of the county. This includes some lovely chalk downland and Wiltshire’s small share of the New Forest. The rocks are Upper Cretaceous and Eocene, Wiltshire’s youngest, and we are on the northern edge of the Hampshire Basin. The general southerly dip is interrupted by a westerly extension of the Portsdown Anticline (the Dean Hill/Pepperbox Hill ridge), where we will examine the structure and its effect on the landscape. After this overview of the area we will look at some local exposures of the Tertiary beds and then go on to Romsey Abbey (lunch stop) and see the famous rood, made of Bath Stone and described as the most outstanding surviving Anglo-Saxon sculpture in Wessex. In the afternoon, use of local building stones in the area and a further instance of Saxon use of Bath Stone, then a visit to the West Harnham chalk pit SSSI south of Salisbury (Upper Chalk), where with luck we should find echinoids and other fossils.

Convene at the Pepperbox Hill car Park, Grid Ref - SU 213 248, at 10.30 a.m. Allow 1 1/2 hours from Bath. Approach from Bath: A36 through Salisbury. Soon after leaving Salisbury there is a 3-mile stretch of dual-carriageway. One mile after the end of the dual carriageway there is a turn-off left to the car park, located just a few yards from the main road.

I. Geddes, 2000. Hidden Depths: Wiltshire’s Geology & Landscapes. Ex Libris Press

Location Map

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