Thursday, 12 November 2020

The Mexborough Rock in Treeton

Canklow Woods and the Duke of Norfolk Estate

When I wake up in the morning, I draw back the curtains to see a landscape that is dominated by a geological formation known as the Mexborough Rock, which “crops out over considerable areas, and forms pleasant, hilly country around Whiston, Ulley, Anston and Harthill” – as described in the Geological Survey of Great Britain memoir.
 A view of the Mexborough Rock

Looking out to the north-east, a ridge of this rock forms Spa Hill and Burnt Wood and, at its north-western end, Bole Hill Plantation now covers the old quarry that once supplied “Rotherham Red” sandstone, of which most of the historic buildings in Treeton have been built. 

The geology around Treeton

The lower slopes are obscured by a landscaped mound of red shale waste from Treeton Colliery, whose pithead and railway marshalling yard once occupied the land that is now covered by the Beaumont Park housing estate; however, the upper slopes comprise ploughed agricultural land, where the soil is conspicuously red. 

A view towards Burnt Wood

In the distance, to the north, I can see the escarpment that Moorgate follows from Rotherham town centre to the Bawtry Road and the break between the ancient woodlands at Canklow Woods and the Duke of Norfolk Estate is clearly visible. 
A view of Bole Hill Plantation

For my second walk under the COVID-19 lockdown in March 2019, following my exploration of Treeton Dyke - which didn’t add much to my existing knowledge of the geology of the area - it seemed obvious to further investigate the Mexborough Rock in Treeton.
A general view to the north

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