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Category 6: Human Habitation

Human Habitation

Humans have adapted the geosphere and used the resources it provides for thousands of years, to build settlements, monuments and works of art.

These sites provide an opportunity to see evidence of our own history, as well as revealing fascinating geology, sometimes in the most unexpected of places.

Click on the links below to find out about each Geosite:


Callanish Stones

Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland

The Callanish Stones are a circle of standing stones near the village of Callanish on the west coast of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, they are all of the same rock type, the local Lewisian gneiss.

Hadrian's Wall

Hadrian's Wall & the Great Whin Sill

Northumberland, England

Hadrian's Wall was a defensive fortification in Roman Britain, during the rule of emperor Hadrian. Stretches of the wall strategically take advantage of the high, rock cliff lines of the Great Whin Sill which is generally regarded as the original and most important sill in geology.



Wiltshire, England

Stonehenge is the remains of a ring of standing stones set within earthworks. The stones used are a mixture of bluestones, Ordovician dolerite, rhyolite, tuffs and volcanic and calcareous ash.

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Durham Cathedral

Durham Cathedral

County Durham, England

The building stones used for Durham Cathedral expose some excellent geology, including the local ‘Frosterley Marble’, a black limestone containing fossil corals of the Carboniferous Period.

Eddystone Lighthouse

Eddystone Lighthouse

Devon, England

The Eddystone Lighthouse is located on the dangerous Eddystone rocks, 9 miles south of Rame Head and represents a feat of engineering in terms of design and construction.

Thames Barrier

Thames Barrier

London, England

Operational since 1982, its purpose is to prevent the floodplain of all but the easternmost boroughs of Greater London from being flooded by exceptionally high tides and storm surges moving up from the North Sea.

Ceide Fields Bog

Céide Fields Bog

County Mayo, Ireland

The Céide Fields is an archaeological site on the north County Mayo coast. The site is the most extensive Neolithic site in the world and contains the oldest known field systems in the world.

Highgate Cemetery

Highgate Cemetery

London, England

Highgate cemetery is notable both for some of the people buried there was well as for its status as a nature reserve. The rocks used for headstones mean it's a great place to see a wide range of geology in an urban setting.

Scara Brae

Skara Brae

Mainland, Orkney, Scotland

Skara Brae is a stone-built Neolithic settlement in Orkney. It gained UNESCO World Heritage Site status as one of four sites making up ‘The Heart of Neolithic Orkney’.


Westminster Abbey

London, England

Westminster Abbey contains a range of decorative stones from Britain as well as those quarried from Roman building stones, which include Importial Porphyry and Egyptian Gabbro.

100 Great Geosites

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