TEDBURY CAMP QUARRY  A geological gem in the Mendip Hills

Location and access

The site is in an attractive rural location, 2.5km northwest of Frome, and is easily accessible by car (Figure 1). From Frome, take the A362 northwest for 2km and turn left onto the minor road to Great Elm and Mells. Proceed to Great Elm and turn left into Elm Lane, a narrow lane that leads steeply downhill and crosses the River Mells. Park in the rough lay-by at Fordbury Bottom (ST 749 492) where there is usually sufficient space for several cars or a minibus, but larger vehicles should not attempt to negotiate the steep hill down from Great Elm.
This resource developed by Dr Martin Whiteley & realised by Peter Williams for ESTA (The Earth Science Teachers’ Association) HOME HOME

Figure 1. Regional location map

A more detailed map is provided in Figure 2, but the local Ordnance Survey maps (Sheet 183, Yeovil & Frome, 1:50,000; Shepton Mallet & Mendip Hills, 1:25,000) are also useful. The grid reference for the site is ST 746 489. Walk through the kissing gate and follow the East Mendip Way, part of a long distance footpath that traverses the Mendip Hills from Frome to the Bristol Channel. Pass over a narrow metal bridge just before reaching the railway line and turn left immediately, still on the East Mendip Way, along a muddy path that hugs the stream. After 200m leave the East Mendip Way and take the right fork that climbs steeply up a loose and stony path (take care, particularly in wet conditions!) to the eastern edge of the quarry floor.

Figure 2. Detail of the area around Tedbury Camp Quarry

Reproduced with the permission of the Ordnance Survey. All rights reserved.
Disabled access can be arranged by entering the site through a locked gate and private road. This allows small vehicles to drive to the quarry floor, from where the broad geological relationships can be seen, or inspected more closely by wheelchair or with minimal walking. Some loose rocks litter the surface, but they are not insurmountable. Please contact Gill Odolphie on gill.odolphie@hanson.com to discuss access arrangements, either for the disabled or for large parties of visitors. The site is intrinsically safe, but it is prudent to wear normal field gear and use safety glasses when hammering because some of the limestones are tough and splintery. Hard hats are not required because the surrounding cliffs are low, quite overgrown and reasonably stable. There is plenty of loose material on the quarry floor, which is ideal for examination and collection purposes, although it creates an obvious trip hazard for those not watching their step. Care should be taken not to stray beyond the northern perimeter fence of the quarry because the ground falls steeply down to the River Mells, but with these considerations in mind, the site offers both a safe and attractive working environment.
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