UWFS Geology Group visit to Craven Museum Skipton 31/01/2024

The Craven Museum hosted a session attended by 15 members of the Geology Group. Just right for a very cold and windy morning!

Several trays of exhibits from the Raistrick Collection were made available in the Education Room. The group appreciated seeing samples of rocks and fossils with explanations from Josephine Drake, Steve Warren and Shirley Everett.

The rocks of particular note were Fluorite with large right-angled crystal formations indicating slow cooling of magma. Samples of Fluorite with Malachite (small samples seen on the ground on the Pikedaw trip) and Barite which Steve Warren told us is an important ingredient in drilling muds used in the petroleum extraction industry because of its high density.

Fluorite from JD collection.
Right-angled crystal of Fluorite from JD collection
Copper minerals
Malachite and Azurite. JD collection

Josephine Drake passed around Black Marble which is actually a fossiliferous limestone and looks glossy black when polished, as seen in Dent Church; Tufa (deposits of calcium carbonate) which can be seen on rocks behind Janet’s Foss. There were many fossils to marvel at, Crinoids, Corals, and Brachiopods, a reminder that the Yorkshire Dales limestone  was formed under a warm tropical sea near the equator.

We were shown Graptolites,  fossils of primitive animals from an even earlier time which appear to resemble Viking runes, examples of which are rarely seen in the Dales but possible seen on a dry stone wall near Helwith Quarry in Ribblesdale during a previous Geology trip.

The group then enjoyed a walk round the Museum looking at rocks, fossils, photographs and interpretation boards of geological significance in the Craven area demonstrating how Geology has shaped the landscape, local human activity and history.

This meeting was a follow-on from a visit in November to Cliffe Castle Museum Keighley where there are several dioramas explaining Geological processes, each museum adding to our knowledge in different ways.

A coffee shop was the next stop for discussion, friendly chat and some humour.

Leaders Pragna Unia and Josephine Drake

NB photos of samples are from the JD Collection and cannot be seen in the Raistrick collection in the Craven Museum.