By some series of terrestrial incidents, the rock types to be found in the parish of Martley (Location Map), and in particular at one small site, enable an examination of samples from different periods probably without equal in the country.
The Teme Valley Geological Society is based in Martley, Worcestershire, in the valley of the River Teme. The Teme is the longest tributary of Great Britain’s longest river, the Severn. It rises on the Kerry Hills, Powys, Wales and flows, often tumultuously for over 80 miles through wild and lonely countryside to its confluence with the Severn, a mile or so south and downstream of Worcester. As this is a web site devoted to geology that will of course be its theme, but for those of you who have not visited this region please do. We could just as easily have created a resource focussing on the wonderful walking that this hilly, wooded, border landscape offers, or on the fifty Norman churches that dot what is surely one of England’s most picturesque valleys. Perhaps the wide swathes of cherry, damson, hawthorn and apple blossom are reason enough to visit or maybe Shelsley Walsh, the world’s oldest continuously run motor car competition. Come to see this uniquely sited hill climb with delightful Norman church from Tufa rock and recently restored and working water mill. But this site is about geology and the largest deposits of tufa or travertine rock in England are one of the many attractions, bringing us back to our main theme……
The Teme in its short journey, cuts through a most unusual and fascinating assemblage of geological features, providing exposures of at least eight periods. These stretch over 700 million years, from the time when the land mass lay far south of the equator, brought by continental drift to its current location. Humankind’s use of rocks in buildings, road surfacing, agriculture, for example, allows us now to research these often ancient quarries and learn at first hand how our very way of being is utterly influenced by what lies beneath our feet.
In an audit of geological sites, around 40 were found in the parish and assessed. Some of these are accessible from rights of way, others only by arrangement. Not all of the 40 are worth seeing but our local trails and guided walks allow the visitor to explore the best and most representative of them. Please come and enjoy!
Please contact us for Geology Tours & Trails, Geology Education & Teaching and Fossil & Rock Sites Guides in and around Martley, Worcestershire in the Midlands. Download our information sheet and geological summary HERE