THE YORKSHIRE BOULDER COMMITTEE AND ITS FIFTH YEAR'S WORK.
THOMAS TATE, F.G.S., Leeds; Honorary Secretary to the Committee
During the two years that have elapsed since the lamented decease of Mr. S. A. Adamson, F.G.S., the work of this Committee has been successfully prosecuted, especially in the North and East Ridings.
In the autumn of last year, the present writer was commissioned to make a collection of such Lake Country rocks as, by the possession of individual characteristics, are capable of prompt identification. Mr. B. Holgate, F.G.S., has also contributed an important series of rocks from the same district, very carefully labelled, the localities having been affixed at the time they were gathered. This collection of parent rocks will shortly be accessible for the definite recognition and determination of boulders by comparison therewith.
As many of the more remarkable boulders have now been recorded, the Committee are desirous of obtaining systematised information upon the erratics of particular districts in Yorkshire, and will, in the course of next year, endeavour to obtain reports of a more connected description from local investigators.
They will gratefully accept help in this new departure from willing workers, if they will kindly communicate with the Honorary Secretary (Thomas Tate, F.G.S., 5, Eldon .Mount, Leeds), who will gladly give any further information.
Appended are the reports as presented to the Boulder Committee of the British Association by the late Honorary Secretary, Mr. S. Chadwick, F.G.S., Malton.
Southburn, Parish of Kirkburn. — In the township of South- burn, parish of Kirkburn, on the estate of Mr. J. Walker, about a mile S.E, of Southburn Church, a large number of boulders have been moved to their present position. There are no striations visible. There are specimens of whinstone, mountain limestone, red granite, etc., etc., in the yard, among heaps of stones; most of them are from the North. The greater proportion are whinstone; they are about 100 ft. above sea-level. The boulders have been collected from the adjoining land and used for paving the yards.
Southburn. — 1. In the township of Southburn, parish of Kirkburn, about a mile S.E. of Southburn Church, in a stackyard occupied by A. Foster, Esq., is a boulder. It is 32 in. x 22 x 19, lying close to the roadside. It is subangular, nearly black, with rough granules like diorite or coarse whinstone. It was found imbedded in the foundation of some old thatched cottages, and is about ioo ft. above sea-level. There is no photograph of it. It rests upon chalky gravel.
2. In the township of Southburn, parish of Kirkburn, on the farm occupied by Mr. A. Foster. At the north end of the farm- house is a boulder 2 ft 8 in. long, 1 ft. 5 in. broad, and 1 ft. 3 in. out of the ground. It is rounded but oblong. On the inner side are fine grooves, varying from 9 in. long, \ in. broad, \ in. in depth, all running in the direction of the longer axis. It is whinstone, 100 ft. above sea-level. It is not a boundary stone; there is no photo- graph of it ; the boulder is at the end of Mr. Foster's farm, and rests upon a bed of gravel.
Lowthorpe. — 1. In the parish of Lowthorpe, quarter mile N.W. of Lowthorpe station, N.E.R., and 40 yards east of Lowthorpe Road. 2 ft. 2 in. x 1 ft. 8 in. x 1 ft. 3 in., subangular, has been moved to present position; no ice-markings; whinstone; about 50 ft. above sea-level ; resting upon boulder clay.
2. Within a radius of 40 yards is a group of boulders of red sandstone, mountain limestone, estuarine sandstone, and whinstone. Several of these have been taken out of the adjoining fields during the last ten years, and are now resting on boulder clay at about 60 ft. above sea-level. In no case do they show any traces of ice- scratches.
Scarborough.— In the parish of New by, on the north side of Scarborough, estate belonging to the Burial Board, and now used as a cemetery, about half mile west of the coast and 100 yards east of the Scarborough and Whitby Railway. It is 4 ft. 10 in. x 3 ft. 2 in. x 2 ft. 9 in., subangular, has been moved; there are no ice-marks ; hard compact sandstone resting on boulder drift about 50 ft. above sea-level.
Scalby (North Riding).— In the parish of Scalby (near Scarborough), Dr. Rook's estate, about 1 1/2 mile west of the coast and half mile east of the village of Stainton Dale, at the bottom of Stainton Dale beck, 1 ft. 8 in. x 1 ft. 2 in. x 1 ft., dolerite ; another one is 1 ft. n in. x 1 ft. 4 in. x 9 in., whinstone. Both are sub- angular, resting on boulder drift about 100 ft. above sea-level.
Ruston Parva (East Riding).— In the parish of Ruston Parva, about 2 1/2 miles west of Lowthorpe station, there is a large block of diorite forming a protection for the angle of the road leading from Driffield to Kilham at the west side of the village of Ruston Parva. It stands in an upright position 28 in. out of the ground, its greatest length across the exposed surface is 28 in. by 25 in. thick t is quite angular, almost indicating from its surface that an attempt has been made to reduce its size.
So far as can be ascertained, the boulder has been in its present position for upwards of 100 years.
There are no ruts, grooving, or striation upon its surface.
Its position is about ioo ft. above the level of the sea, resting on boulder clay.
Speeton. — In the parish of Speeton, near Filey, on the farm occupied by Mr. J. Jordan's trustees; Speeton Gap. At the bottom of the gap, just where the footpath crosses the beck, and about 250 yards N. W. of the beach, are five large boulders.
No. 1 is 3 ft. 10 in. x 2 ft. 3 in. x 1 ft. 8 in. above ground. Rounded to subangular; has not been moved; longest axis E. and W. ; shows groovings in direction of longest axis, some being from 11 to 9 in. long, 1/4 in. deep, and 1/4 to 1/2 in. wide; close-grained sandstone.
No. 2. — 3 ft. xi ft. 9 in. x 1 ft. 7 in. Rounded ; has not been moved ; longest axis, N.E. and S.W. ; dolerite.
No. 3. — 2 ft. 9 in. x 2 ft. x 1 ft. 8 in. Rounded to subangular; has not been moved; longest axis, N.E. and S.W. ; shows groovings and striae in direction of longest axis, some being nearly a foot long ; Shap Fell granite.
No. 4. — 2 ft. 1 in. x 1 ft. 10 in. x 1 ft. 8 in. Rounded; whinstone.
No - 5-— 3 ft. 8 in. x 2 ft. 6 in. x 1 ft. 3 in. Flat angular block of fine grained sandstone.
These are all about 50 ft. above sea-level, and rest upon the chalk.
Note. — All these boulders are scattered over a distance of about 50 yards up the creek in a westerly direction.
In Speeton Gap, and following the course of the beck for about 150 yards westwardly from the footbridge, are the following boulders: —
1 ft. 8 in. x 1 ft. x 9 in. Rounded Whinstone.
I ft. 2 in. x 1 ft. x 9 in. „ Mountain limestone, containing Productus giganteus.
I ft. 6 in. x 1 ft. 1 in. x 6 in. Subangular Fine sandstone.
1 ft. 6 in. x 1 ft. x 7 -in. Rounded. Dolerite.
1 ft. x 6 in. x 6 in. Rounded to Subangular. Whinstone.
1 ft. 6 in. x 1 ft. x 1 ft. Rounded. Fine Sandstone.
1 ft. x 9 in. x 6 in. Subangular. Whinstone.
1 ft. 4 in. x 1 ft. 2 in. x 7 in. Angular. Fine sandstone.
1 ft- x 7 in. x 10 in. Subangular. Dolerite.
1 ft- x 6 in. x 4 in. Rounded. Mountain limestone containing coral.
3 ft. S in. x 1 ft. 6 in. x 10 in. Angular Coarse, gritty sandstone.
1 ft. 4 in. x 1 ft. x 8 in. Angular to subangular. Whinstone.
Besides the above there were about 50 sandstones, 15 whinstones, 6 mountain limestones, and 5 ironstones, averaging 1 ft. x 8 in. The whole were much worn, and show no definite markings or striae. Others, still smaller, may be seen, of red and grey granite, mica schist, red fine-grained sandstone (Permian?), Lias showing Gryphaea incurva, limestone, slate, various sandstones, and nodular ironstone from the estuarine series.
They are about 60 ft. above sea-level.
Most of these boulders rest upon clay overlying the chalk.
Staintondale Cliffs (Coast).— About f of a mile S.E. of Peak Hall, near Robin Hood's Bay, on the first ledge of the cliffs is a boulder 3 ft. 5 in. x 3 ft. x 2 ft. Rounded and much weathered longest axis N.W. and S.E.; no groovings or striations; Shap Fell granite; is about 250 feet above sea-level.
Lockington.— At Lockington, near Beverley, on the farm of Mr. George Langdale, a boulder protects an artesian well, about half a mile E. of the railway station. It is at present 2 ft. 7 in. x 1 ft. 10 in x 1 ft. 9 in., but has evidently been reduced in size ; a coarse-grained grit, like Millstone Grit ; is about 100 ft. above sea-level ; originally rested on boulder clay, which covers the surrounding district.
Filey. — On the estate of Mr. Martin, and extending about 60 yards from the shore up the ravine, or at the bottom of what is known as Bentley's Beck, are boulders of Whinstone, Sandstone, and Mountain Limestone.
No striae visible ; about 30 ft. above sea-level; all are more or less imbedded in the clay, save those which have rolled down from their former positions.
At the mouth of the ravine were observed the following boulders: Whinstone, Coarse Grit, Dolerite, Hard Red Sandstone, Estuarine Sandstone, Mountain Limestone (full of corals), etc.
The whole of these boulders have been removed to their present positions. The absence of granite boulders is accounted for, after inquiry, by their selection for the ornamentation of gardens.
Seamer (near Scarborough).—
Seamer gravel-pit, adjoining Seamer Station, N.E. Railway. This pit is about 20 acres in extent, with an average depth of 12 ft.; during the time of excavation the following boulders were found: the largest at present in the pit is 4 ft. 8 in. x 2 ft. 8 in. x 1 ft. thick; angular, but no ice markings. There are 10 boulders averaging 3 ft. x 2 ft., four of which are 3 ft. 2 in. x 2 ft. 1 m. x 1 ft. 8 in. ; rounded whinstone; no striation ; and four averaging 3 ft. 4 in. x 3 ft. 1 in. x 2 ft. ; composed of different kinds of sandstone ; angular. One 3 ft. 10 in. x 2 ft. 7 in. x 2 ft.; angular; fucoid sandstone; estuarine; is crumbling away from exposure; and one 3 ft. 4 in. x 3 ft. x 1 ft. 3 in. ; rounded; mountain limestone; no striation on surface. There are 40 more, principally composed of sandstone, averaging 2 ft. x 1 ft. x 1 ft. ; eight of these are more or less angular blocks of whinstone ; no striation. A short distance away are 31 boulders, averaging 2 ft. 2 in. x 1 ft. 6 in. x 1 ft. ; part of these are rounded ; in some instances showing faint traces of striation. Scattered and in heaps are 64 composed of grits to fine grain compact sandstone, 56 of which average 1 ft. 2 in. x 1 ft. 1 in. x 11 in., and eight are rounded whinstone ; no striation. Two others are iron grey granite, averaging 1 ft. 6 in. x 1 ft. 7 in. x 1 ft. ; rounded ; no striation.
Note. — The drift rests upon the Coralline Oolite. The whole extent of this drift bed is about 60 acres. Generally speaking, the main of the boulders were found on or towards the north face of the drift, which also contained the roughest gravel. To the south-east the gravel gradually gets smaller, more decayed, and rotten.
On the estate of Lord Londesborough, in the parish of Seamer, there is a boulder at the bottom of an old quarry in Limekiln Field on Eastfield Farm, occupied by Mrs. Eldines.
It is 3 ft. 1 in. x 2 ft. 9 in. x 2 ft. 1 in.; angular; there are wide hollow groovings in the direction of its longest axis; dark blue whinstone; about 200 ft. above sea-level.
Near Eastfield House, about quarter mile due east of Seamer railway station, is a boulder 2 ft. 8 in. x 2 ft. 2 in. x 1 ft. 7 in. ; rounded ; has been moved ; a light brown sandstone, resembling the moor grit; about 150 ft. above sea-level; was found in a ridge of gravel running north-westerly.
On Eastfield Farm, about two miles S. of Scarborough and about half a mile E. of Seamer railway station, are boulders of Whinstone and Sandstone. No striae visible; removed from the adjoining fields; about 150 ft. above sea-level.
Kilnsea (E. Riding)— Mr. John Cordeaux, M.B.O.U., Great Cotes, Ulceby, Lincolnshire, records an erratic. On the beach about 500 yards south of Kilnsea Beacon, Kilnsea, near Patrington, was a boulder, but now removed to the lawn of Mr. Hewetson's garden, Easington.
It is 3 ft. 2 in. x 2 ft. 4 in. ; subangular ; long-shaped ; longest axis N.W. and S.E. ; there are deep striae or groovings in direction °f longest axis ; Shap Fell granite ; it rested upon blue clay, had been probably exposed only a few days and was in situ when discovered by himself and Mr. Hewetson on November 10th, 1889.
Note.— This boulder has the value of being the only one found hitherto so far south on the Yorkshire Coast near Spurn Point
Easington. — Mr. John W. Stather, Hull (Hon. Sec. Hull Geological Society), describes the following group of erratics : — On the half mile of beach opposite Easington, about six miles from Spurn Point, and at the southern end of Dimlington ■ high land ' (boulder clay cliffs) are many boulders, twelve of the largest being measured, viz. :-
A. 4 ft. 2 in. x 2 ft. x 1 ft. 6 in.
B. 4 ft. 3 in. x 3 ft. x 2 ft. 6 in.
C. [no data published]
D. 2 ft. 3 in. x 2 ft. x 1 ft.
E. 3 ft. 3 in. x 2 ft. 6 in. x 1 ft. 6 in.
F. 3 ft. 6 in. x 3 ft. 6 in. x 2 ft.
G. 5 ft. x 3 ft. x 2 ft.
H. 5 ft. x 3 ft. 6 in. x 2 ft.
I. 4 ft. 6 in. x 3 ft. x 2 ft. 6 in.
K. 4 ft. 3 in. x 4 ft. x 2 ft. 6 in.
L. 4 ft. 6 in. x 3 ft. x 2 ft. 6 in.
M. 1 ft. 6 in. x 1 ft. - x 4 in.
Are all subangular ; the longest axis of A, B, and H are N.W. and S.E., those of G and L being E. and W.; K and F are striated, and D more decidedly so ; they are below high-water mark, and rest upon the basement clay, in which they are partly imbedded ; others have probably fallen from the purple clay which here forms the upper part of the cliff.
Laithkirk (North Riding). — Rev. W. R. Bell, Vicar of Laithkirk, states that at Laithkirk, near Mickleton, there is a large boulder. It was found on the north bank of the Lune, immediately below the church, and is now set up in the Laithkirk Vicarage gardens. It is 2 ft. 8 in. x 1 ft. 9 in. x 2 ft. 6 in. ; it is roughly cuneiform in shape ; subangular ; has been moved ; Shap Fell granite; its original site was 700 feet above sea-level; no strias visible.
Wath (North Riding).— Mr. T. Carter Mitchell, Topcliffe, Thirsk, reports that on the Coldstone Farm, Middelton Quernhow Estate, and parish of Wath, is a boulder. It is on the side of the road from Middleton Vicarage to Ainderby Quernhow, and about half-way between.
It is 2 ft. 1 in. x 1 ft. 5 in. x 1 ft. 3 in. ; subangular ; has been moved; there are no ice markings, but it is curiously grooved by weathering ; is about 200 feet above sea-level ; it is isolated ; rests on drift, overlying Triassic deposits.
Mulgrave Park, near Whitby. — Mr. R. Taylor Manson, Darlington, records a boulder in Mulgrave Park, 4 miles N.W. of Whitby; nearest station is Sandsend, on the Saltburn and Whitby line. It is on the north bank of a stream running east between the Old Castle of Mulgrave and a spot known as the ' Hermitage.' It is 3 ft. in diameter; rounded; no striae or groovings; Shap Fell granite; about 100 feet above sea-level ; it is isolated in the rivulet, to which it has probably rolled down from the clay above; the stream is cut through Lias shale
Balby, near Doncaster. — In the Balby brickyards,
Largest boulder, 2 ft. x ih ft. x 1 ft.; striations numerous on the top, but faint, and in direction of short axis.
Smallest boulder, 2 in. x 11 in. x 1 in. ; fossiliferous limestone; girth 16 in.; length 10 in.; striations numerous, but faint, about 1 in. long in direction of long axis; granite block, angular; girth 12 in. x 8 in. long. The boulders are rounded and subangular.
The group extends over about five acres; small ones very numerous. These boulders are surrounded by a thick deposit of clay, which has been excavated to the depth of 50 ft., and are met with at various depths in the clay. .
Winestead. — Mr. Wm. Barugh, Winestead, Hull, describes two erratics. About half a mile N. of the railway station, near site of former hall, about fifty yards from highway, is a boulder, 4 ft. 2 in. x 3 ft. 6 in. x 1 ft It is subangular; it has been moved ; there is a groove 1 in. deep and length of the stone. The boulder is striated at the top in direction of longer axis; it is whinstone; probably 20 ft. above sea level; it is isolated, resting on boulder clay.
In the paddock at Winestead, belonging to the Park Farm, is a boulder 2 ft. 8 in. x 2 ft. 2 in. x 1 ft. It is much rounded; it has been moved; it is mountain limestone; about 20 ft. above sea-level; isolated; it rests on the surface of the ground.
Hull Geological Society 2020
(republished from The Naturalist with permission of the Yorkshire Naturalists Union.)