The Geology of Seahouses

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Join Karl Egeland-Eriksen to explore the fascinating geology of Seahouses in Northumberland.

Event leads: Karl Egeland-Eriksen

Event length: 1 session, Saturday, 10.00 am- 4.00 pm

Event cost: Free to NHSN members

This outing to Seahouses will be of particular interest to those who attended the ‘Introduction to Fossils’ course earlier in the year. Here we shall explore the Eelwell Limestone and the beds above, exposed on the shore alongside the golf course.

The inland village of Sunderland developed, largely, as a farming community to the south of the capital of the Kingdom of Northumbria, Bamburgh. Farmland was improved by the addition of lime quarried locally from the Carboniferous Limestone; the area to the south of Seahouses is known as ‘Quarryfield’.

In the 18th century a small harbour was developed at the coast as the local lime industry expanded and herring fishery developed. Another ‘Sunderland’ to the south was growing at this time so the village here was re-named North Sunderland. Accommodation was built at the sea-end of the village, the ‘Sea-end houses’ becoming known as the ‘Sea Houses’ and finally ‘Seahouses’.

Lime kilns were constructed at the harbourside in 1768 and limestone was brought here from nearby quarries in the Eelwell Limestone. Historically it has been regarded as yielding the best lime and has thus been extensively worked in the area.

It is the most fossiliferous limestone in north Northumberland and, although none of the species are unique to this bed, the assemblage is peculiar. Over 50 species have been identified and a thin calcareous shale at the top of the limestone is remarkable. The bed consists primarily of small shells of Productus longispinus and Spirifer trigonalis along with isolated specimens of bryozoa, trilobites and crinoid ossicles.

*Further information, including where to meet, will be sent to attendees via email nearer the time.

This trip will be run in accordance with government guidance on covid-19.

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