Black Country geology

Relative to its area the Black Country has the most diverse geology of anywhere in the world, a diversity which has led directly to prosperity and wealth generation for the region and has also contributed to scientific knowledge and understanding on an international scale.

The geology has influenced human settlement, water supply and the location of industry and centres of work and prosperity. This is particularly true of the Black Country where the diversity of mineral wealth including coal, ironstone, limestone, fireclays, brick clays, roadstone, moulding sand, building sand, gravels and building stones gave rise to major industries such as mining, iron and steel production, foundries, glass manufacture and brickmaking.

The different colours on the map below represent the extent and relative stratigraphic age of the different rocks which occur at the surface within the district.

A simplified geological map of the Black Country

A simplified geological map of the Black Country

Click on the spots above or the links below for further information and downloadable guides.

1. Wren’s Nest National Nature Reserve
2. Beacon Hill Quarry, Sedgley
3. Holloway Street, Lower Gornal
4. Rubery Cutting
5. Norton Covert
6. Stafford Road cutting, Wolverhampton
7. Portway Hill, site of Blue Rock Quarries
8. Barrow Hill, Pensnett
9. Saltwells National Nature Reserve
10. Barr Beacon

Sam Davies has made a Google maps layer of these geological sites in the Black Country with short descriptions and links to this website. This can be accessed here.