Quaternary

The last 2.6 million years is known as the Quaternary and brings us up to the present day.

The main period of time is known as the Pleistocene, which includes the glacial advances of the Ice Age, most of the last 10,000 years (an interglacial period) as the Holocene, and the last 200 years (in which man-made geological processes dominate) as the Anthropocene.

The two main glaciations, or Ice Ages, for which we have evidence in Shropshire are the Anglian and the Devensian. A third glaciation occured between these two, the Wolstonian, but one has to go to Birmingham to find evidence of this. The clearest evidence is preserved from the most recent, the Devensian, with extensive deposits left by ice across almost all of North Shropshire, the sudden changes in direction of the course of the River Severn from Welshpool then through Shrewsbury and down through the deep gorge of Ironbridge, and the discovery of mammoth remains in the sands and gravels of Condover, south of Shrewsbury, now on display at the Craven Arms Discovery Centre as full-size models, and the real bones conserved in the Shropshire Museums Collections Centre at Ludlow.

Shropshire has examples of each of these periods.

Brown Moss

Ironbridge Gorge

Wood Lane, Ellesmere