Now you can! The Cambridge Geology Trail will help you to do just that. This new self-guided walk around the historic city centre will introduce you to just a few of the many different rock types, fossils, minerals and geological features that are waiting to be discovered in the walls, roofs and pavements of Cambridge
The development of the trail has been a collaborative project led by Annette Shelford, Museum Education Officer at the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences. It has been funded by MLA Renaissance East of England and the Friends of the Sedgwick Museum. Annette said "The walls and pavements of Cambridge are crammed with fascinating rocks and fossils from all over the world. To a geologist, every rock or fossil tells a story, providing a snapshot of a time or event in the Earth's long history. How could we get people looking and thinking about the geological stories that are directly under our feet and on every street corner? That's where the trail has grown from."
Sam Simic talks to a museum visitor about how to identify different grains in the limestone steps outside Sedgwick Museum
The trail is based on a building stones walk compiled by Dr. Nigel Woodcock from the Department of Earth Sciences. His aim was to introduce first year undergraduate students to looking at geology out of the classroom.
Much of the work required to update the older trail was carried out by volunteers Sorcha McMahon and Samantha Simic who worked with museum staff, Nigel Woodcock and other geologists from the Department of Earth Sciences to research, write and evaluate the trail. Both were recent geology graduates who were the winners of the Friends of the Sedgwick Museum Education Prize, a one-month voluntary work placement in the Sedgwick Museum to gain experience in museum interpretation and science communication.
The trail has been tested and commented on by museum visitors, members of the Friends of the Sedgwick Museum, A-level geology students from London, and staff and students in the Department of Earth Sciences. The project has also been supported by the Cambridge Association of Tour Guides and British Geological Survey. Annette said "Somebody who tried out the trail said afterwards that they would never look at the city in the same way again! We hope that this will encourage many more people to think about the geology in the buildings around them."
The trail can be purchased from the Sedgwick Museum Shop.
Monday to Friday
10:00 to 13:00 & 14:00 to 17:00
10:00 to 16:00