Sunday, 2 October 2016

"Rotherham Red" Sandstone

Rotherham Red sandstone - from Treeton to Thrybergh

During my investigation of the mediaeval parish churches of Rotherham that are set on or near to the outcrop of the Mexborough Rock - named “Rotherham Red rock” by the Geological Survey in 1878 - I have surveyed the geology, landscapes and many historic stone buildings, from Rotherham town centre to its outlying villages.

The name comes from its marked red colour, which clearly distinguishes it from the buff sandstone of the same rock formation that then continues northwards from Hooton Roberts to Mexborough and further into Barnsley and West Yorkshire.

Rotherham Red sandstone from Treeton to Harthill

Looking at the Pennine Coal Measures Formation in Yorkshire as a whole, its strike essentially runs north to south, with the strata dipping to the east; however, in this part of South Yorkshire, the Don Monocline gives the landscape a very different character.

Whist waiting for responses from various keyholders of the mediaeval churches that I can easily visit from Treeton, I decided to make the most of a fine sunny day and explore the villages of Thrybergh and Hooton Roberts - on the X78 bus route from Rotherham to Doncaster.

Rotherham Red sandstone from Thrybergh to Mexborough

The current British Geological Survey map shows that both of these villages are set on a Pennine Upper Coal Measures Formation sandstone, previously described on the printed map as Dalton Rock, with the Ackworth Rock and Mexborough Rock to the north-west - the latter forming an escarpment overlooking the River Don.

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