Warwickshire Geological Sites of Special Scientific Interest

For further details of these Warwickshire SSSI or ‘Triple-SI’ sites visit Natural England and enter the site name

Ailstone Old Gravel Pit The old gravel pit at Ailstone exposed sands and gravels deposited by the Stour (a tributary of the Warwickshire Avon) which contained an extremely important Pleistocene interglacial molluscan fauna.
Boon’s Quarry Precambrian Caldecote Volcanic Formation and Park Hill Member of the Hartshill Sandstone Formation.
Broom Railway Cutting The disused railway cutting south of Broom cuts through gravels of the 2nd Terrace of the Avon system, which is believed to date from the last glacial period.
Coton End Quarry This site provides important exposures of fossiliferous sandstone layers of the Middle Triassic which accumulated about 230 million years ago, as sand dunes in a desert environment.
Cross Hands Quarry Bajocian Clypeus Grit laid down during the Middle Jurassic Period
Griff Hill Quarry Ordovician sill intrudes Cambrian Stockingford Shales., Carboniferous Coal Measures are preserved in fossil channel deposits. These deposits have been planed off by Triassic red marls, which lie unconformably over the bulk of the sill.
Guy’s Cliffe Middle Triassic aeolian and river-deposited sandstones
Harbury Quarries These quarries allow a variety of sediments overlying a Middle Pleistocene landsurface to be studied and compared over a wide area. These sediments are part of the glacial and glacio-lacustrine complex recognised in the English Midlands and attributed to the Wolstonian glaciation.
High Close Farm, Snitterfield This site shows a tripartite sequence which has been recognised over a wide area, comprising a thick basal gravel (Baginton-Lillington Gravel), an overlying sand (Baginton) Sand and a capping of clays and silts (Wolston Series).
Illing’s Trenches This site exposes a section through the Abbey Shales of the Cambrian period.
Kingsbury Brickworks Kingsbury Brickworks is the best known available site for showing the unconformable contact between the Upper Carboniferous Halesowen Formationand the underlying Etruria Formation. At Kingsbury the Halesowen Formation consists mainly of coarse-grained cross-bedded sandstones which represent sediments transported from a land-mass to the south.
Napton Hill Quarry Napton Hill exposes an important sequence of Upper Pliensbachian rocks. Below 2m of Marlstone Rock Bed, the Margaritatus Zone is represented by a thin limestone and clays yielding the zonal ammonites Amaltheus margaritatus, Amaltheus subnodosus and Amaltheus stokesi.
River Itchen The Warwickshire Itchen played a significant role in the development of the theory of underfit streams that related change in stream activity to postglacial climatic change and reduced discharges. The characteristic features of underfit valleys are well-developed at the site and include sinuosity on a large scale, steep slopes at the outsides of valley bends, gentle slopes on the insides and the smallscale meanders of the present stream.
Ryton and Brandon Gravel Pits The two most southern sections show Avon Terrace 4 gravels overlying Baginton Gravel. Over much of this area the Baginton Gravel is overlain by the later Avon Terrace 4. In both the southern two sections the Baginton Gravel and the terrace deposits are locally separated by further gravels, deeply channelled into the former.
Shrewley Canal Cutting The canal cutting at Shrewley exposes a sequence in the Arden Sandstone Member of the Triassic Period. It forms a distinctive marker horizon in the Mercia Mudstone Group of central England. The sequence comprises an overall coarsening upwards in the succession in which grey-green shales and siltstones with wavy and lenticular bedding pass into white fine-grained well sorted dolomitic sandstones.
Stretton-on-Fosse Pit This site consists of two small areas providing important exposures of a complex sequence of deposits formed during the middle Pleistocene Ice Ages. The lowest deposits consist of fluvial sands, laid down by a river and contain mammal remains of interglacial type, reflecting a phase of warm climate between major glacial phases. These are overlain by gravels containing mammoth remains, thought to represent a deposit formed at the onset of a phase of glacial conditions. Overlying this is an important sequence of beds attributed to the Wolstonian glaciation phase of the Midlands, consisting mainly of till laid down beneath an ice sheet with layers of clay formed on the bed of a lake.
Waverley Wood Farm This site provides an important reserve of an interglacial deposit, uniquely preserved here beneath the more widespread local drift sequence. The interglacial beds occupy a channel cut in Mercia Mudstone bedrock. They are overlain by Baginton-Lillington Gravel, Baginton Sand and Thrussington Till.
Wilmcote Quarry This old quarry shows the best available section in the ‘Insect Beds’ of the basal Lias. These rocks are best developed in Warwickshire and Wilmcote is the only surviving quarry in the county showing them.
Wolston Gravel Pit Wolston Gravel Pit is the type-locality for the penultimate cold stage of the Pleistocene period in Britain, the Wolstonian, which demonstrates the Baginton sand, Thrussington Till and Bosworth Clay members of this type formation.
Woodlands Quarry This disused quarry exposes a sequence of rocks laid down beneath the sea some 570 million years ago, during late Precambrian to early Cambrian times, and is of international significance because of the early Cambrian fossils which are found here.

Last Updated on 02 Apr 2021