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Geology of Durham riverbanks and Cathedral

© Mick306

Saturday 6 August, 10.30am-3.30pm

One of Europe’s finest Normal cathedrals and dubbed ‘the best cathedral on Planet Earth’ by Bill Bryson, Durham Cathedral derives much of its size, shape and character from the site conditions and the materials available for its construction in the 11th and 12th centuries. In the morning we will explore parts of the river banks to understand how the local Coal Measures and Quaternary geology have created the magnificent setting for this World Heritage Site. We will also examine how some of the varied materials used in the Cathedral’s construction have performed over almost nine centuries.

In the afternoon, inside the Cathedral, we will look in detail at some of the different ways in which these site conditions have given us the building we see today, and explore something of the surprisingly wide diversity of stones used in its construction. This is a great opportunity to see a familiar building in a new light. Although Durham Cathedral is proud of its free entry policy, a modest charge of £5 per person (£4-50 for concessions), payable on the day, is made for guided tours of this sort. Please note that photography is not permitted inside the Cathedral.

Meet at 10.30am outside the North Door (Palace Green) entrance of the Cathedral.

Leader: Brian Young is from the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Durham and a Volunteer Guide at Durham Cathedral.