Field Trip: Geology of Eastern Wiltshire

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

Entry Fee

Members: Free

Visitors: £3.00

Date and Time



St Martin's Chapel, Chisbury Lane, Little Bedwyn, Chisbury, Wiltshire, SN8 3JA

Field Trip Description

  1. Chisbury Hill-fort: view of the wooded hills east of Savernake Forest, on the edge of the London Basin, where the Chalk is capped by a thin layer of Tertiary sands and clays.
  2. Stype Wood: the Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary is marked by solution hollows where streams running down over clayey Tertiary beds on the hill-top disappear when they get down to the porous/permeable Chalk below.
  3. Littlecote quarry: a solution pipe in the top of the Chalk can be seen to be filled with Clay-with-Fints.
  4. Kennet & Avon canal: the canal will we followed from Great Bedwyn westwards, passing the Crofton Beam Engine -built to pump water into the canal at its highest point. Nearby, to the west, the canal goes through the brick-lined Savernake tunnel as it enters the Vale of Pewsey.
  5. Vale of Pewsey: we will look at the structure of the vale and how it affects the bounding Chalk escarpments, with a stop at a pit in the Melbourn Rock at the base of the Middle Chalk.

Meet at 11.00 a.m. Manor Farm Stud, Chisbury - SU 280 660. We have permission to park in the farmyard: turn right after going into the farm entrance and go round into yard area to park (south-east side of the house). Walk to the redundant church behind the buildings.

As this is some 35 miles from Bath, those who want to share cars to reduce the size of the convoy to the next 5 localities as well as save on petrol, could meet at 10.15 and park on Spa Road, Melksham (by the 3 big spa lodging houses) where we met up for the field trip 2 years ago, GR ST 914 628, (behind the roundabout on the A365 southeast of Melksham on the road to Devizes - take road towards town centre/hospital at that roundabout, then turn sharp right almost immediately). A member of the Bath G.S. committee will wait there until 10.15 a.m.

There will be a lunch stop in Great Bedwyn where there are two pubs. Hard hats and strong shoes will be required

Location Map

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Important Notice: Bath Geological Society Insurance

Each person attending a field meeting does so on the understanding that he/she attends at his/her own risk. The Bath Geological Society has Public Liability Insurance Cover for field and indoor meetings, but Personal Accident Cover and Personal Liability Cover remain the responsibility and personal choice of the participant.

There may be an element of appropriate cover included in house insurance or in travel insurance: although Bath Geological Society activities are not particularly dangerous members are advised to check whether exclusions apply to activities in which they plan to participate in case they wish to arrange further cover. An annual travel insurance may be the best solution for any member who regularly attends field events: this again is a matter of choice.

Please note however that all members participating in overseas events will be required to have travel insurance for the duration of the event: this is so that participants are covered for Medical, Repatriation and Personal Liability expenses. The Personal Accident element remains the personal choice of the member and again members are advised to check exclusions so that they can make an informed decision about the cover they want.