Rock textures at Saundersfoot

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Natural rock textures and patterns

The natural textures and patterns in the cliff rock strata near Coppet Hall at Saundersfoot, South Pembrokeshire, Wales, really caught my eye on a first visit to the location. The stratigraphy is intriguing and complicated – and I have yet to work out exactly what I am looking at. I need a detailed geological map of the area and access to published papers for that. However, I think it fairly safe to say that they belong to the Upper Carboniferous Period, probably the Namurian, also known as the Lower Coal Measures, comprised of sandstone and mudstone layers, with coal seams and layers of iron nodules. I’ll check it all out when I can. High quality anthracite coal was open-cast mined not far away, and there used to be a local iron smelting industry.

My key guide to the geology of Gower and South Wales (George 2008) only describes in detail the geology of the stretch of beach immediately north of this place, and immediately south of it, leaving me a bit stumped as to an explanation for its peculiarities. I am definitely going back to this coastline to spend some quality time exploring the intricacies of its geological history, and photographing some of its marvellous natural abstract compositions.


George, G. T. 2008, The Geology of South Wales: A Field Guide,, 978-0-9559371-0-1.

13 Replies to “Rock textures at Saundersfoot”

  1. The rock formations are really beautiful Jessica, we visited Saundersfoot briefly and dipped in and out of some of the surrounding Welsh coastline in October for the first time. We would like to go back too and were quite surprised at how geographically interesting the area is.


  2. Thank you, Linda. I have a few shots left from the last visit and look forward to taking some more next year. The presence of iron in the strata leads to some interesting effects don’t you think?


  3. I had only been to the area once before when I was on a geography field trip staying at Orielton Field Studies Centre. I was 16. I can remember that it was really hard work, we had to walk miles, the scenery was spectacular but I can’t recall any of the geography.


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