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Mendip Rocks 2015

03 - 29 October 2015
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Event type:
Social event, Field trip, Workshop, Course
Organised by:
Earth Science Week 2015
Multiple Venues
Event status:

The popular Mendip Rocks! Festival is back again this October, bringing to life the fascinating rocks that have created the Mendip Hills.

Step back in time and explore an amazing 420 million years of geology right under your feet. A wide range of events will reveal the ancient stories that have shaped a unique and very special landscape. It’s a great chance to see some of Mendip’s best kept geological secrets, with many events being held at sites that are not usually open to the general public.

There is something for everyone from family fun days to guided walks in working quarries for adults with some geological knowledge.

Admission Charges

Free unless otherwise stated. A donation of £3/adult, £1/ child is welcome towards the Mendip Rocks! Project.


Events do not require booking unless otherwise stated.

Mendip Rocks! 2015 festival is organised by the Somerset Earth Science Centre in partnership with the Mendip Hills AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) with kind support from Natural England and Somerset Wildlife Trust.

Events In Earth Science Week

Sat 10 Oct

A History of Mining on the Mendips

A walk through time with Andrew Newton, Mendip Hills AONB Volunteer Ranger, to explore the former mined landscape around Shipham to discover ‘where there’s rock there’s brass!’

About 6 miles - strenuous, on hills, walking boots essential.

Meet at The Square, Shipham BS25 1TW.

Sat 10 Oct
11am - 6pm

Family day - Fairy Cave Quarry

Family activities/worksheets, live performance 2-3pm. ‘step in stone’ artscape project in Mendip quarries.

Sun 11 Oct
9.30am – 1pm

Workshop at SESC

Drawing, printing and creating clay and plaster relief tiles with artist, Duncan Cameron. ‘step in stone’ artscape project in Mendip quarries.

Mon 12 Oct
5.30pm – 7.30pm

Twilight Quarry Tour from SESC

Tour by minibus to see the vast working quarry at Whatley with dramatic exposures of carboniferous limestone.

16 yrs and over.

Tues 13 Oct
8pm – 9.30pm

‘Step in Stone’ - Guided Night Walk 

Fairy Cave Quarry Walk with poet Ralph Hoyte. ‘step in stone’, artscape project in Mendip quarries.

Fairy Cave Quarry, Limekiln Lane, Oakhill, BA3 5JG.

Wed 14 Oct
3.30pm – 4.45pm

Tor Hill Geological Mapping Walk

An exploration of the geology of Tor Hill on the edge of Wells with geologist David Rowley. The geological structure & rock types of Tor Hill will be looked at on a walk involving steep hills, stiles, and brambles.

Meet outside Wells and Mendip Museum, Cathedral Green.

Wed 14 Oct

Search for the Lost Cave of Hutton at SESC

Illustrated talk from Alan Gray on one of the most fascinating Mendip cave mysteries.

Alan will also provide a virtual tour of other Mendip caves whilst the audience remain safely above ground!

Sat 17 Oct
2pm – 4pm

Hidden History of Burrington Ham

The stories behind this busy industrial landscape of the past will be revealed by Robin Thornes and Chris Richards on a guided walk through its quiet rural landscape of today.

Meet Burrington Combe top car park, ST 489581.

Sun 18 Oct
10.30am – 4pm

Vallis Vale’s Hidden Geological Gems

Explore the fascinating geological feature of the De la Beche Unconformity followed by a fossil foray on the ancient sea bed at Tedbury Camp in Vallis Vale near Frome with geologist Elizabeth Devon.

Bring a picnic lunch. Meet Mells River Bridge, Great Elm, ST 749492.

Further Information

There are lots of other events taking place throughout October. Download the Guide on the right to see what else is on.