August 2022 Visit to Great Doward
a geological rock formation

Jim led 10 of us for a 2 hour walk on Great Doward in gorgeous sunny weather. Fortunately the walk was in the morning and on largely shaded tracks as the temperature was rapidly rising.

The top of Great Doward is not an area which walkers with a geological interest tend to explore. Briefing with the OS and the local geology map set the scene. Though separated from the Forest of Dean by the Wye Gorge it shares similar rocks and history to the former. Our morning was spent alternating between the Drybrook Sandstone and the Whitehead limestones.

The key features we looked at were:

  1. The quite extensive surface workings on the rim of the Wye Gorge where miners have sought the presence of Haematite or iron ore in pockets within the limestones. Not known how successful they were but they left an area not without risks for today’s unwary walker.
  2. We saw some of the natural caves high up on the side of the gorge. There are at least a dozen other caves on this rim some of which were lived in and others which were later exploited by miners.
  3. ​From an exposed viewpoint we had a great view into the Wye gorge, noting crags opposite, the location the Symonds Yat viewpoint and the buildings upstream and below us around the Saracens Head, including hidden in the trees on our side of the Wye the remains of a water powered forge.
  4. Jim reminded us of the key relatively recent stages in the development of the superimposed drainage giving rise to the incised meanders of the Wye within its 200 metre deep gorge.​​

August 2022 Geology Great Doward


5. ​We could see how modern woodland has reclaimed a landscape at least partly made up of smallholdings with visible traces of buildings, boundary walls and access trackways. Jim reminded us of the key relatively recent stages in th development of the superimposed.

​To complete our day out we moved on for a gentle lunch in the garden of Woodies in Whitchurch. This proved very popular and is well worth visiting even without a geology based walk first!



Wed 10 Aug 2022


2:00pm - 3:30pm
Bridges Centre, Drybridge Park, Monmouth NP25 5AS
Jim Handley

Accessibility at Bridges Centre

Members’ monthly meetings are held at Bridges Community Centre, Drybridge Park. Some group meetings and activities also take place at Bridges. Off street parking is available here outside the building, and disabled parking is adjacent to the building entrance. There are no external steps or slopes, and the entrance doors are automatic. The ground floor is fully accessible and level throughout, and there is space for wheelchairs. There is a lift to the first floor, and accessible toilets on both floors. There is a hearing induction system in the Agincourt room where the monthly meetings are held.

Accessibility at Ty Price

Some group activities and meetings are held at Ty Price, St Thomas Community Hall, St Thomas’s Square. There is no off street parking here. The approach on foot is a gentle slope to double entrance doors. The ground floor of the building is fully accessible and there is a disabled toilet. The stairs to the first floor are wide and well-lit with a handrail on both sides, but there is no lift. There is a hearing induction system on the ground floor.