Wednesday, 29 June 2022

Geology at Archer Road in Sheffield

The old Marriott Wood Quarry on Archer Road

Leaving Abbey Lane Cemetery, I continued west along the public footpath through the grounds of Hutcliffe Woods crematorium, where it then drops steeply down the wooded escarpment of Loxley Edge Rock to Hutcliffe Wood Road. 
Moving on to Archer Road, I wanted to have a good look at the large old quarry that once supplied the raw material for the Marriott Wood Brickworks, which occupied just one part of a large industrial area dominated by Laycock’s Engineering Ltd - now developed with a Honda car dealer, the ALDI supermarket and the Sainsbury petrol station.
An aerial photo of the old industrial area on Archer Road
The 1957 Geological Survey of Great Britain memoir mentions it a few times: as being one of the most important brickworks in Sheffield, having the greatest known thickness of the Ganister Coal in the Sheffield district and also being worked for ganister – all of these contributing significantly to the local economy and sometimes being mined using adits. 
A meaured section at the Marriott Wood Brickpit
When attending prizegiving evenings with the Heart Of England English language school at the nearby Laycocks Sports Club and once visiting the Sainsbury supermarket on the opposite side of the road, when following the course of the Graves Park Beck, I remember seeing an extensive rock face here but I don’t have any photographs. 
The old Marriott Wood Quarry

Although at the end of July and expecting to see plenty of vegetation, I have to admit that I was very disappointed to see that most of this very important outcrop was largely obscured by the trees that had grown up behind the fencing.

The quarry face behind the Honda car showroom

Having popped into the Honda car showroom to ask the duty manager if I could take a quick look at the rock exposure, I took a few photos of the Loxley Edge Rock at the top of the outcrop, which is fine grained and flaggy here and passes down into siltstone. 
A section of the Loxley Edge Rock
I then went to explore the service road at the back of ALDI, where I found a succession of alternating thin sandstones and shales at the base of the outcrop. The section here was not fenced off and, although there was dense vegetation, I could get close enough to take a few photographs. 
A section of thin sandstones and shale

Individual beds are highly disrupted and fractured, which make the characteristics of individual beds very difficult to determine and the build up of very loose rock debris beneath the outcrop made it very difficult to gain access to make a close inspection. 
A section of thin sandstones and shale
The sample that I was nonetheless able to obtain is quite unlike any other of the Upper Carboniferous sandstones that I had collected, being very dense and containing black carbonaceous inclusions and I think that it may be a piece of a very thin bed of common ganister. 
A specimen from the old Marriott Wood Quarry (21 mm diameter coin)

1 comment:

  1. Interesting. I've looked at that place every time I pass it, and wondered what it used to be.