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Llanymynech Rock

Llanymynech Hill forms a distinctive ridge on the westernmost edge of the county.  These imposing limestone cliffs can be seen for miles around and show you a snapshot of a warm, shallow sea some 365 million years ago. Gigantic fossilised seashells and corals can be found here, as well as more recent rare plants that thrive on the lime rich soil.

The ridge has been quarried extensively for its Carboniferous limestone.
The limestone was used for lime burning mostly in the middle of the 19th century. The Romans mined here for lead and copper. Many of the quarries are still visible and are good places to study this rock type. 

Crossing over Llanymynech is all about crossing borders, but you don’t need your passport! The imposing limestone cliffs you see here were made at a time some 360 million years ago when Shropshire was crossing the Equator.

As you can imagine this would have been a warm place to be, but the huge continent that had dominated the last 100 million years has been worn completely away and the sea has once more covered us.

This warm shallow sea was home to some fantastic creatures. Giant brachiopods as big as your fist, corals and sea lilies all thrived in these tropical waters. Their fossilised remains can be found in the many spoil heaps left from the quarrying.
Limestone was quarried here for centuries. It is an important resource used in agriculture and construction. You can still see the remains of the limekilns and railway lines left over from its industrial heyday.

Not only can you cross the Equator, you can cross the border between England and Wales as the nature reserve straddles the two countries.

You should allow approximately 2 hours to walk through the nature reserve. Please keep to the footpaths and don’t stray too close to the quarry faces as there is a slight risk of falling rocks. If you do want to get close to the faces you should wear a hard hat. On the Welsh side of the reserve there is a large and very deep hole in the ground so you should keep children and dogs away from that area.

Please don’t hammer at the rock faces directly and keep your fossil collecting to a minimum so that future visitors can enjoy the reserve too. Please give any rock climbers a wide berth for your own safety.

Llanymynech Rock