The group visited the Radnorshire Museum in Llandrindod Wells on Thursday 7th October 2021. This was our inaugural group outing!
Our local palaeontologist, Dr Joe Botting, met us there. He gave us a talk about the geology of this area, and gave us an idea of deep time – just how long ago is 460 million years? What was the landscape like back then? What clues do we have in the current landscape to lead us to these conclusions?
Joe showed us the fossils in the display cabinets from older to younger. He explained about how the original biota were deposited in the sediment and quickly covered over to preserve them eventually as fossils. Most fossils of this era were marine animals and plants, so lived underwater.
We have Upper Ordovician rocks from Builth Wells to Llandrindod Wells, so they are between 458 million to 444 million years old. These are darker mudstones with trilobites, brachiopods, and graptolites.
Further out beyond Llandegley at the Pales, we have younger Lower Silurian rocks, so they are 444 million years to 433 million years old. These are lighter-coloured mudstones with more trilobites, brachiopods and graptolites, but also crinoids, bi-valves and nautilus.
Nine people joined Joe very quietly at the start of the tour. By the end of the tour, nine very enthusiastic and uplifted people were busy firing questions to and thanking Joe for his outstanding introduction to the dynamic landscape that we have around us. I am sure that all of us have taken away some more knowledge from our visit.
With thanks to Joe Botting, and Lorna Steel, curator of the Museum, and her assistant.