Geology

 Fossils collectionsGault clay ammonite with bi-valve

To search the collections click here. The geology collections provide clues to understanding Buckinghamshire’s prehistoric environments and the plants and animals that lived in them. There are around 6,000 rocks, fossils and minerals in the collection dating from 190 million to 10,000 years ago.

 

GEOLOGY - Echinoid

Fossil sea creatures

During the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods (195-65 million years ago) Buckinghamshire was mostly under the sea. As a result many of the fossils in the collection are of sea creatures from ammonites and belemnites to giant marine reptiles such as the Watermead Pliosaur.

 

 

Ice Age fossils

For most of the last 2 million years massive ice sheets have advanced and retreated across Britain during a period known as the Ice Age. This was a time of extreme variation in climate, reflected in the collections with mammoth and woolly rhino fossils from less warm periods, and hippo and hyena fossils from the warmer interglacials

Marsworth Ice Age collection
Pitstone Ice age Lion Jaw

This important Ice Age collection was found at the former Pitstone cement works near Marsworth in the 1980s. As part of a controlled excavation around 1,600 fossil bones and teeth were found. These were dated to 200,000 years ago and have helped provide evidence for a previously unknown interglacial period in Britain

Visiting the collections

If you would like to find out more, or see any of the collection that is not currently on display, you can make an appointment with the collections team, either individually, or as a small group. There may be a charge for this.

Rocks and minerals

Rocks

GEOLOGY-Mineral- Chalcedony (1)Our local rocks provide a record of past environments and the raw materials for many of Buckinghamshire’s buildings. The collection comprises an extensive range of local rocks from different types of limestone, clay and chalk to the more sporadic deposits of fuller’s earth, puddingstone and Denner Hill stone.

 

 

Minerals

Buckinghamshire is not rich in minerals but the collection includes good examples of those that do occur such as calcite, selenite, chalcedony and marcasite.