Dudley - Did You Know
West Midlands Geodiversity Partnership — DUDLEY’S HERITAGE FURTHER FABULOUS FACTS
DID YOU KNOW?
- Dudley and Tipton provided all the iron and glass for the construction of the Crystal Palace in London for the great exhibition of 1851.
- It is thought that the worlds first geological map was made of Castle Hill in Dudley by Dud Dudley in 1665. (Research by John Fuller 2000)
- The Silurian System ( one of the great time periods in the history of the Earth) was defined in 1839 by Sir Roderick Murchison. In his classic book 65% of all fossils used as illustrations are from Dudley.
- Abraham Darby (often called the father of the industrial revolution) was born at Old Park Estate, Dudley (now the Wrens Nest) in 1678.
- The first successful ‘atmospheric’ steam pumping engine was built in 1712 near Dudley Castle.
- Dudley’s geology and mans use of it are so special that it is the subject of an on-going UNESCO World Heritage/ Geopark status bid.
- Dudley’s World Heritage bid received over 70 letters of support from heads of UK and International scientific and geological organisations.
- Dudley’s ‘forty foot’ Thick Coal seam (The South Staffordshire Thick Coal) is the thickest coal seam in the UK and required very skilled working of a special style known as ‘square work’
- Dudley’s limestones are between 423 and 415 million years old
- Dudley’s limestones are the most fossiliferous rocks in the UK with more than 600 fossil species identified so far.
- Castle Hill and Wrens Nest are the ‘type localities’ of 186 species of fossil and 63 of these are found nowhere else in the world
- Dudley’s coal seams, ironstones and fire clays are between 300 and 310 million years old
- Dudley Castle and ruined priory are built of fossiliferous limestones.
- A network of caverns and tunnels extending for more than 3 miles beneath Castle Hill and Wrens Nest
- In 1839 a party of famous scientists and dignitaries from the British Association for the Advancement of science visited the caverns at Castle Hill and an underground lecture was given by one of them (Sir Roderick Murchison) to ‘thousands of people’ in the caverns
- The Earl of Dudley used the caverns at Dudley to stage underground concerts, balls and firework displays during the 1800’s
- Wrens Nest was designated the UK’s first ever geological National Nature Reserve in 1956 because of its exceptional educational and research ‘field laboratory’ status.
- A huge lump of Black Country ‘Thick Coal’ weighing six tons was displayed at the ‘Great Exhibition’ of crystal palace of 1851
|© West Midlands Geodiversity Partnership, 2017|
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