Barrow Hill is an important Black Country geosite. It is a prominent hill of hard dark igneous (volcanic and intrusive) rocks of an olivine basalt type that burst its way into the local country rocks 307 million years ago. Large quarries have been excavated in the hill to extract the basalt as a road aggregate and these now abandoned quarries have many excellent rockfaces of high scientific and aesthetic value, which contain fine exposures of both intrusive dolerites and extrusive volcanic ash beds with anatomically preserved fossil coniferous from the later Carboniferous Period.
This site is unique in terms of its geological features and its key position in the interpretation of the volcanic history of the region as exposed in other local sites such as Rowley Quarries and Clee Hills.
This is a very important scientific and education site and the rockfaces and mining features are designated as nationally important and protected under UK laws. The protection covers both geology as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)’s and for mining heritage as a Scheduled Ancient Monument (SAM).
Fossil collecting is permitted from the loose scree that continually builds at the foot of the rockfaces but is not permitted from rockfaces.
Fossil collecting code link to fossil collecting code.
This is a large public access urban nature reserve covering some 30 acres of wooded hillside and meadows. There are a number of waymarked walks at the site, and many places to stop to view the landscape, watch birds or enjoy a picnic. There is currently no visitor centre, cafe or toilets at the site although some hospitality may be available at nearby St Marks Church by arrangement.
The warden can be contacted for more information about events and guided walks from Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. Call + 44 (0)1384 812780.
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