home page | site 11

Site 10 - Bath Oolite/Upper Rags

To reach this site take the path that leads into the wooded area close to the bottom of the steps. (GPS N 51o23.688' W 002o17,841') Go through the gate and carry on for a few metres along this path until a rock face and mine entrance is seen on the right hand side.
(GPS N 51o 23.709' W 002o17.837')

You will no doubt recognise the rocks as the Bath Oolite overlain by the Roof Bed and white oolite, (here very shattered). The special interest at this site is the mine and the way the rocks have moved. The mine only penetrates a short way into the hill; the reason for this seems to have been that a fissure, seen at the left hand side of the back wall of the mine, made the stone of poor quality or unworkable. Although the mine is little more than an entrance, it does give some idea of what a mine was like and shows inside the greatest continuous thickness (4.5m) of Bath Oolite seen so far.

Stand back from the face and, using the Roof Bed as a marker band (assuming this was originally horizontal) see if you can deduce how the rocks have moved (tilted).

At the left-hand side two blocks at right angles to the face have clearly tilted in a down hill direction. This sort of movement is often seen in rocks on hillsides and is called cambering, the spaces that open between the blocks are called gulls.

The movement at the right-hand side has been more complex. The Roof Bed exposed across the main face has tilted down to the right and three breaks (faults) have occurred in it leaving two isolated blocks at different levels. Can you suggest why this happened? There are indications that there was once a mine entrance at the right hand corner of the face and it is possible that the Roof Bed broke and collapsed down to the position in which we see it now. A current of air can be felt at the crack nearest to the main face supporting the suggestion that there is an old mine below, but the rock movement may have been due to movement along a fault.

Site 10 (Mell Freeman)

Adit mine (Mell Freeman)

Right of mine entrance