Geology Collection

The geology collection has circa 3,000 items and contains a good balance of rocks, minerals and fossils.

These are mostly from local sites and well representing the complex local geology, industrial activity and the work of important 19th Century collectors. A large proportion of the minerals and rocks are from named collections, including that of James Clifton Ward, Robert Harkness, John Postlethwaite and Jonathan Otley; all early geological pioneers.

The Museum also holds a small collection of minerals collected by John Ruskin, the great Victorian author, artist and social reformer and has specimens donated by 20th Century geologists such as Edgar Shackleton. Cumbria has the greatest number of mineral species in the country and the minerals of the Caldbeck Fells, an internationally important mineralogical area, now collecting restricted, are well represented, including many irreplaceable specimens. Local commercial exploitation and use of stone is also documented in the collections.

Graptolites and other marine fauna of the Skiddaw Slates are well represented in the fossil collection, with some type and figured material of national importance. Plant fossils of the Coal Measures are also well represented and the Museum has one specimen of footprints in Eden Valley Sandstone.

The geology collection has circa 3,000 items.

Examples of Geology