Rocks and Scenery of the Hilltops

The oldest rocks on the Quantocks contain fossils which lived 400-300 million years ago. Geologists first found this sort of rock time in North Devon so they called this period the Devonian. These rocks also have the nickname ‘Old Red Sandstone'. There are different sorts of Quantock Old Red Sandstone in different parts of the Hills.

The Northern Quantock Hills are the highest and wildest part of the Quantocks. They are formed from the very old, hard and mainly sandy rocks.

Triscombe quarry

  • Triscombe quarry

This sand stone is very hard. It has a dull, reddish colour, caused by the natural rusting of some iron in the stone. It is a good building stone. People have quarried it out of the ground and made houses and farm buildings from it.

A stone barn

  • A stone barn


Click on the framed picture for tour stop 3

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In the middle of the Quantocks there is a band of mixed slate, sandstone and limestone. Geologists first studied these rocks in Ilfracombe in North Devon, so they are called the Ilfracombe Beds

The Southern Hills are lower and gentler than the Northern Hills, because they are made of softer rock.

View of the Southern Hills

  • View of the Southern Hills