Page:VCH Warwickshire 1.djvu/46

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.

A HISTORY OF WARWICKSHIRE often left as uncultivated heathland, as for instance in the case of Sutton Park. The Upper Sandstone overlies the Pebble Beds and extends through Birmingham towards Lichfield. It is excellently exposed in some large excavations near the Great Western railway near Hockley station; it consists of soft, fine-grained, bright-red sandstone, without pebbles, and is extensively dug for moulding-sand. East of the Birmingham district this subdivision is unknown. The Lower Keuper Sandstone forms an elevated ridge of ground extending from Birmingham through Erdington to Sutton Coldfield. It reappears around the north of the Warwickshire coalfield at Tamworth and Warton, and extends north-eastwards thence past Newton Regis towards Leicestershire. Farther south it forms an almost continuous fringe to the Carboniferous and ' Permian ' rocks from Nuneaton to Warwick, and thence past Berkswell to Maxtoke. The rocks consist of red, brown and white sandstone with bands of red marl. A dull-red pebbly sandstone is exposed by the canal side at Gravelly Hill, north- east of Birmingham ; and the upper beds occur at Reddicap Hill near Sutton Coldfield. Calcareous breccias are recorded by Mr. Howell l as occurring near Tamworth. White sandstone is found at Maxtoke and Meriden Hall and is traceable towards Kenilworth. Mr. Fox-Strangways * observes that near Merevale some of the beds are soft and unconsolidated and are dug for sand. Sandstones have been quarried at Warton and Seckington, and in the village of Newton Regis they are exposed near the church. Sections at Austrey show the upward passage of the highest sandstones into the lowest beds of the Keuper Marl subdivision. South of Nuneaton the unconformable relation of the Keuper to the Cambrian was well shown in a large quarry at Marston Jabet red marl and white sandstones with a conglomeratic base resting horizontally on the Stockingford Shales with intruded diorite, dipping east at 1 5. Near Warwick the beds have been quarried for building stone and have yielded a number of footprints, bones, and teeth of the extinct amphibia Labyrinthodon and Mastodonsaurus ; their footprints are five-toed. Lizard- like reptiles are represented by Hyperodapedon ; dinosaurs by Thecodonto- saurus, the footprints of which are three-toed. A fine collection of these fossils is to be seen in the Warwick Museum. 3 The Lower Keuper Sandstones above described pass upwards, with- out any break, into the Keuper Marls, which attain a great thickness and spread over the greater part of central Warwickshire. The beds consist of red marls and shales frequently mottled and banded of a green colour. Thin seams of gypsum are occasionally met with ; one has been worked at Spernall north of Alcester. Salt beds in the marls have long yielded the brine springs of Droitwich (in Worcestershire). One or more well marked bands of grey sandstone, the Upper 1 ' Warwickshire Coalfield,' p. 38. * ' Geol. of Atherstone,' p. 34. 1 See Huxley, Quart. Joum. Geol. See. xxv. (1869), 13 8 f and xxvi. (1870), 32; also Miall, ibid. xxx. (1874), 4'7- 16