Field Trips – All about Mike + John’s geology ‘Walks, Talks & Field Trips’


In chronological order: if it’s an upcoming trip, it will be at the top!
Previous trips, just to see what you have missed, are down towards the bottom.
AGS Field Trips are free to members, £2 to non-members.
Mikes private walks: cost as stated. 

 Last minute changes to a meeting, field trip, talk or walk due to unforeseen circumstances will also be posted here

Prepared by Mike Howgate

Saturday 27 May –   The stones and scenery of Muswell Hill with Penny Badham and Alamin Buhia.

10.30am – Meet at Highgate Woods Cafe on playing fields for coffee and introduction. Visit information hut for geology exhibit.

11.15am – Queens Wood looking at streams, levels and trees.

12.00am – Back to Highgate Wood, northern area with Roman pottery centre. Then onwards to Cranley Gardens, Parkland walk to Muswell Hill followed by the Grove, Alexander Palace for views, the stream at Putting Centre and historic signs on Alexander Palace North East end.

1.30pm – Boating Lake cafe for lunch. Back to Muswell Hill via Dukes Avenue for local houses, the Broadway, Churches etc. including steep roads. Crocodile Cafe for tea!

Timings approximate………

Please confirm your attendance by phoning Penny on 07522 989633


Thursday 13th July 14.00hrs. – NHM behind the scenes visit with Dr. Tim Ewin on the Echinoderm collection and the spectacular lagerstatten found in Wiltshire.

Maximum of 10 members. Please contact Gabriel Hodes to book

Sunday  13 August –  The stones of Saffron Walden and a visit to the geological collection of the Saffron Walden museum.  Leader: Gerald Lucy.


Friday 6 October – ‘International Geodiversity Day’ – Urban geology walk starting from the Geological Society rooms at Burlington House.  Leader: Mike Howgate.


To book any of Mike’s trips: or 020 88822606

Mike’s Walks for 2023

All walks last about two hours and cost  £10 per walk

Friday 28th April :   The Financial City.  The origin and development of Trade, Finance and Insurance in the Mecca of Money.  Finishing at the Museum of the Bank of England where you can get your hands on £250k in gold.  Meeting at Bank station above exit 3 at 11 am.

Wednesday 10th May:  The Livery Halls of the City.  Including Mercers, Grocers, Skinners (and Fan-makers), Vintners, etc). Their history, mottos and coats of arms explained.  Meeting  above exit 3 of Bank station at 11 am.

Friday 2nd June:  Industry and history of the East End – Bow Road .    We will look at the evolving history of this part of East London from sail-making and the docks to the infamous Bryant & May factory and the ‘Match-girls strike’.  starting at 2 pm. from outside Bow Church DLR station.

Friday 16th June:  Industry and history of the East End – Three Mills and the River Lea   A  circular walk along a part of the Lower Lea starting at 2 pm. from the entrance to Bromley-by-Bow underground station. We will concentrate on the famous Three Mills tide mills, the ‘Temple to Sewage’, the Lea Navigation and the Limehouse Cut.  

Wednesday 12 July

Curiosities of the City of London (West).    We will see London’s first public drinking fountain, a body-snatcher’s pub, the evidence of a Zeppelin raid, a spidery coat of arms, the poignant Postman’s Park’s memorials and Londinium’s buried amphitheatre. Meeting in the Crypt café of St. Paul’s cathedral at 11 am.

 Friday 4th August 

‘The Glory that was Greece’    A two hour walk looking at how ancient  Greek architecture was the inspiration for the Georgian development of Bloomsbury.   Meeting on the benches outside Euston station at 11 am.

Friday 25th August

 ‘A walk with Samuel Pepys’  In the year 1666 the Great Fire of London destroyed three quarters of the City of London in four days.  We will follow Samuel Pepys’ diary entries over those momentous days which will enable us trace the ravages of the fire and the steps taken to contain it.  This two hour walk, starting at 2pm. from the exit of Monument tube station finishes near Fenchurch St. station.

 Friday 22nd  September

THE BIRTH OF THE SCIENCE OF EPIDEMIOLOGY. The science of epidemiology, which studies how diseases are spread, dates back to the pioneering work of Dr. John Snow on the cholera outbreaks which devastated Soho in the 1850’s.  We will start at the Institute of Tropical Hygiene and Medicine where we will see several of the ‘vectors’ which spread disease.  We will then walk to Soho and visit sites associated with Dr. Snow’s uncovering of how cholera was spread.  We will finish at the John Snow pub where we can discuss the spread of AIDS and COVID – 19.  Meeting outside the rear entrance of the British Museum in Montague Place at 11 am.  The nearest tube is Russell Square.

Friday 13th  October

 The hidden rivers of London.  This is the first of a series of walks which will concentrate on the hidden rivers of London but will also include some not so hidden rivers. Each walk will start at 2 pm.   The New Riverbrought water from Hertfordshire into the City of London.  It ended at reservoirs in Islington. We will follow its former route through Islington and on the way look at the Regents Canal.  Meeting outside Highbury and Islington station at 2 pm.

Cheques made out to ‘Mike Howgate’ to be sent to Mr. M.E. Howgate, 71 Hoppers Road, Winchmore Hill, London N21 3LP.  Please list the walks you are booking.  You can pay on the day but please e-mail me beforehand to let me know you are coming.


For further information e-mail: 

A selection of past field trips are listed below.

And please see the ‘Gallery’ page for photographs of some of the past events.


Wednesday 15 February – HS2 South portal visit.  Meeting up at 9.15 and finishing about 12 noon.  Organised by John Wong.  For details and to book contact John at FULLY BOOKED

Thursday 9 March –  Ashdon meteorite centenary.  Meet up in the car park of the Ashdon Village Hall  at 12.15 pm. to walk to the unveiling of memorial post at the impact site.  Followed by a meeting at the Village Hall at 2 pm.  The main speaker will be Natasha Almeida (NHM).   This is a ticketed event, to book contact Gerald Lucy at

Saturday 8 April – Visit to the ‘The proof of the Puddingstone – Geology and Climate Change’ display at Hertford Museum, meeting at the museum at 10.30am; followed by a geomorphological walk along the river Lea to Ware Museum where they have the unique Ichthyosaur erratic boulder out of its case for us to study. On the walk we will see the confluences of the rivers Beane and Rib with the river Lea; an old chalk quarry and water mill and the source of the New River. (It is possible to do the trip by rail to Hertford North station and back from Ware station. A return ticket from the end of zone 6 can be used on both lines.)

Plenty of cafes/sandwich shops in Ware and Hertford. FREE to AGS members and £2 for visitors. The walk is expected to finish around 4.00pm.

There is a large multi-storey car park about three minutes walk from the museum and at the end of the trip a train can be taken back from Ware to Hertford East station.  For those coming by train the museum is a twenty minute walk from Hertford North station and about five minutes from Hertford East station. Leader:  Mike Howgate. 


A joint field excursion for the Kirkaldy Society 

and the Buckinghamshire Geology Group

Saturday, 25 June 2022


Leader: Michael E. Howgate M.Sc. FLS

Meeting from 10 am onwards in the library of Hartwell House where tea and coffee with biscuits will be served at 10.30 am. *

( Park on the area to the right after going through the gateway, not in front of the house )

11.00 am.  I will give an introduction to Dr. John Lee FRS who had his Geological and Egyptological museum in the library and his astronomical observatory attached to it.  The Royal Meteorological Society was founded in the library in 1850.

11.30 am.  Guided tour of the grounds where we will see the Portlandian ammonites, Lower Greensand bowel-stones and Bradenham puddingstone blocks he used to ornament the walls and pathways. Then we will also go outside the grounds to visit the Egyptian well and the external walls.

Lunch can be booked in the Spa café at Hartwell House or taken at the ‘Bugle Horn’ pub.  In the afternoon there will be an opportunity to visit the Buckinghamshire County Resources Centre at nearby Halton where some of the geological material from Dr. Lee’s museum will on display.    

*  The cost will be £8 for members and £10 for guests.

      Book through  Mike Howgate at  or 02088822606


ASHWELL – the geology of a village in Hertfordshire

Sunday 15  May 2022

Leader:  Mike Howgate

Meeting up at the lych-gate of St. Mary’s church Ashwell at 10.30 am.

Morning:  Visit to this  ‘ clunch’ church with its famous graffito of the Black Death and a devastating storm in the Middle Ages.  Followed by a walking tour of the village including the Chalk springs with their ‘Ice Age fauna’, a lock-up built of ‘clunch’ blocks and a Wichert/Cobb thatched wall.

There are two decent pubs for lunch.    

Afternoon: The village museum ( small charge) has an interesting geological collection.

                    Possibility of a walk to Ashwell Chalk pit or cars to Steeple Morden quarry.

Contact to book a place  


SUNDAY 19th September 2021

Leader: Mike Howgate MSc FLS

Join Mike at Otford, near Sevenoaks, for a trip around the Solar System (followed by a geological mapping exercise). Meeting at Otford village car park at 10.30 am. (TN14 5PQ). We will walk around the Otford Solar System model which is the largest scale model in the known universe. The full walk will take about 2 hours, depending on whether we get lost on the way to Pluto or not. After lunch in Otford we will interpret the village millennial mosaic which has quite a lot of geology. Then in the afternoon we will visit a local quarry in the Lower Greensand where we will be able to examine some quite complex folding. Bring along your compass/clinometer if you have one.

This is a joint visit with the Essex Rock & Mineral Society.

Participents will have to make their own way to Otford village Car Park by 10.30 am on Sunday 19th. September.  I will co-ordinate numbers so people will have to contact me to register for the trip.   As the walk will be two miles plus including some across field paths I suggest wearing walking books and carrying a waterproof.  A bottle of water would also be advisable.   To book for the trip contact Mike Howgate at
Lunch will be taken in a cafe or pub (there are two of each) in Otford.  In the afternoon we will travel about five miles by car to the second locality, a former quarry which is now a nature reserve/pic-nic spot.

Liam + Christine investigating the Otford Solar System models on an earlier visit.

Fri. 7 June 2019  Led by Mike Howgate

Meeting outside the rear entrance of the British Museum in Montague Place at 11 am.  The nearest tube is Russell Square.

The science of epidemiology, which studies how diseases are spread, dates back to the pioneering work of Dr. John Snow on the cholera outbreaks which devastated Soho in the 1850’s. We will start at the Institute of Tropical Hygiene and Medicine where we will see several of the ‘vectors’ which spread disease.  We will then walk to Soho and visit sites associated with Dr. Snow’s uncovering of how cholera was spread.  We will finish at the John Snow pub where he famously removed the handle of the local water pump.

Led by John Wong

Geology, geomorphology, hydrology, churches, and geoarchaeology of the villages and Iron Age period hill forts in the Parish of Cholesbury-cum-St Leonards and in Wendover Woods, and Catuvellaunian Grim’s Ditch ancient scheduled monument, Buckinghamshire.

We shall see and/or discuss the following on this field trip –

The history of the Full Moon public house and the Cholesbury Windmill.

The local stratigraphy, structural geology, geomorphology, hydrology, drainage patterns, chalk springs and ponds.

The local commemorative monument built of Buckinghamshire Puddingstones, and the petrology of local boundary stone.

The geology of Hawridge, Cholesbury, Buckland Common, St Leonards and Wendover Woods.  Stratigraphy in Wendover Woods reveals a full section of the Grey Chalk (former Lower Chalk) and White Chalk (former Middle Chalk and former Upper Chalk combined) Subgroups, the Melbourn Rock and Chalk Rock Formations.

The origin, sedimentary structures and provenance of Holocene Red Clay and pebbly-clay in a disused pit, Pleistocene Clay-with-Flint in a disused pit and the archaeology of scattered strike flints.

The geoarchaeology of the Iron Age Cholesbury Camp Hill Fort in Cholesbury and Boddington Hill Fort in Wendover Woods.

The history and building stones (original and reused stones) of the 12th century and 14th century churches in Hawridge, Cholesbury and St Leonards.

Geology and geoarchaeology of the 18km (10.8 miles) long Catuvellaunian Grim’s Ditch Scheduled Ancient Monument, spanning from Bradenham to Berkhamsted; we shall see a couple of the selected surviving accessible sections.

How the High Speed 2 Rail-link project is in conflict with the Grim’s Ditch Scheduled Ancient Monument.

Classic Essex Churches (2) with a possible pick up point at Ingatestone station at 10 am. Otherwise meeting at the Tiptree tea shop in Writtle ( on the ‘University’ campus at O.S. ref. TL 678068 ) at 10.30 am. Then visiting the round towered church at Broomfield and Great Waltham church. We will have lunch back at the Tiptree tea shop and then visit the churches of Great and Little Leas. Cost £12. (own or shared cars).

 To book please send a cheque made out to MIKE HOWGATE to M.E. Howgate, 71 Hoppers Road, Winchmore Hill, London N21 3LP. ALONG WITH A LIST OF THE WALKS YOU ARE BOOKING.

 My phone number 0208 882 2606

Mobile number (for emergencies & on trips) 07913391063

e-mail: if you want to be on my ‘walks and talks’ mail-shot.

A series of walks looking at the courses of three ‘LOST RIVERS’ Cost: £20 for the three or you can pay individually. ALL STARTING AT 2 pm.

1)  Friday 22 June: The Lost Rivers of London (1) – The Walbrook. Meeting outside the Broadgate exit of Liverpool St. station by the ‘Fulcrum’ sculpture. Ending near Cannon St. station. Cost £8.

2)  Friday 29 June: The Lost Rivers of London (2) – The Fleet. Meeting outside the main entrance of Farringdon Station on Cowcross St. Ending at Blackfriars station. Cost £8.

3)  Friday 6 July: The Lost Rivers of London (3) – The Tyburn. Meeting at Bond Street tube station exit barriers. Ending at Green Park tube station. Cost £8 .

 Friday 13 July: Gods and Goddesses of Londinium. This will include a visit to the newly opened Bloomberg HQ where the Temple of Mithras is back on the site where it was excavated in the mid-1950s. After visiting the re-sited remains we will walk to the Museum of London to see the original excavated sculptures of Mithras, Serapis, Athena, Mercury and Bacchus. Meeting at the Refectory at Southwark cathedral at 2 pm. ( Nearest station: London Bridge ) COST: £10.

Thursday 14 June 2018: Stones of the City (2) Meeting at Liverpool St. station, Broadgate exit. By the ‘Fulcrum’ sculpture. At 11 am. We will see lots of Travertine and a variety of igneous and metamorphic rocks, including spectacular zoned feldspars. Ending up at Moorgate or Bank station. Cost £8. ( bring a hand lens !)

Saturday 16th & Sunday 17th June 2018.  A joint field excursion with the Kirkaldy Society and Geo-Suffolk to the Ipswich Museum and the Suffolk Crags led by Bob Markham.

Saturday 16th June: 11.00am. – meet at the Ipswich Museum for a gallery tour and a private view of geological highlights of the collection.

1.00pm – 3.00pm Lunch and time to deposit luggage at your hotel.

3.30pm – 5.30pmBuilding stones walk around Ipswich.

7.30pm onwards – evening meal.

Sunday 17th June: Full day field excursion (own or shared cars) visiting localities in the Red and Coralline Crag and the replanted ‘Pliocene’ forest.

Sunday 3rd. June 2018 – DINOSAUR DAY SCHOOL     

Doors open 10.00 am. Start 10.30 am. Finish 4.30 pm.

Bertrand Russell Room, Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL

Nearest tube Holborn

Cost: including tea and coffee £20.

AM.  Mike Howgate on One-eyed sheep and epigenetic landscapes the ‘Last Chance Saloon’ of the MANIRAPTORANS. Followed by discussion and open session.

Dinosaur of the Day – Psittacosaurus.

PM.  Stephan Bodini on Stephen Jay Gould and ‘Replaying the tape of Life’ – an insight of profound significance or unwitting succour to Creationists.

Vertebrate evolution in the Permo-Triassic – an aerial explosion!

Sat. 12th May 2018: The GEOLOGY of NORTH MIMMS PARK and the WATER END SSSI.

Meeting at the car park of St. Mary’s Church, North Mimms, Herts. at 10.30 am.  Leader Mike Howgate.

A look at the Church building stones followed by a guided walk of three miles through the countryside between North and South Mimms.  Lunch at the Woodman pub then a shorter walk to see the swallow holes of Water End and the Glacial Gravels of the area.

 Friday 18 May: Science in the City. We will see 400 million year old fossils, living fossils, Xenoliths, the site of a 17th. Century telescope, sundials, Victorian inventions and a monument to science and discovery.

Meeting in the Crypt café of St. Paul’s Cathedral at       2 pm. Cost £8.

 Saturday 26 May:   Classic Essex Churches (1) with a possible pick up point at Epping tube station at 10 am. Otherwise meeting at Greenstead-juxta-Ongar ( O.S. ref. TL 539030 ) for the famous Anglo Saxon log church at 10.30 am. , then on to visit the churches at Chipping Ongar and High Ongar. We will have lunch at Blackmore tea shop and visit the village church with its intricate timber tower then on to Willingale which has two churches in the same churchyard. Cost £12. (own or shared cars).

 Thursday 31 May: Stones of the City of London (1). Meeting in the crypt café at St. Pauls Cathedral at 11am.   From Cornish and Cumbrian Granites to Portland Roach Stone (with its Portland Screws and Osses Ed’s) and desert sandstones, there is a huge variety of building stones around St. Pauls.  But there is a lot more to see, from Silurian nautiloids and Carboniferous productids to a Sumerian inscribed brick! The walk will end near the Guildhall. Bring a hand lens or magnifying glass. Cost £8.

 THURSDAY 5 April 2018: ‘Curiosities of the City of London – West’  From the Bank of England, the Royal Exchange and the Mansion house, looking at water pumps, plaques, coffee shops, geese, mice, the Great Fire of London and a Dinosaur footprint.

Meeting above exit 3 of Bank tube station at 11 am. COST £8.

Friday 23rd March 2018: GEOLOGY in CAMBRIDGE MUSEUMS.

Meeting at the Sedgwick Museum at 11.00am – Leader Mike Howgate M.Sc. FLS.

A guided tour of the Sedgwick Museum followed by lunch in Cambridge.  This will be followed by a visit to the ‘Landscapes Below, mapping and the new science of Geology’ exhibition at the Cambridge University Library.  We plan to finish at 4.00pm. 

Friday 20 October 2017: The TEMPLE of MITHRAS at BUCKLERSBURY.

This will be a visit to the newly opened Bloomberg HQ designed by Norman Foster. The most important part of which is the re-siting of the Temple of Mithras back on the site where it was excavated in the mid-1950’s. After visiting the re-sited remains we will walk to the Museum of London to see the original excavated sculptures of Mithras, Serapis, Athena, Mercury and Baccus. Meeting above exit 3 of Bank underground station at 2 pm. COST: £8.  

                                                                                              Mike Howgate  

Friday 6 October 2017: ‘More Hertfordshire Churches’.   See ‘GALLERY‘ for photos of the walk.

MEETING UP AT THE M1 / M25 ( South Mimms ) services at 10 am.

This ‘car sharing’ trip will include the churches at Waterford ( St. Michael and all Angels) for its William Morris stained glass where we will be given a guided tour by the churchwarden. Then to St Mary & St Thomas in Knebworth Park where I will explain my research into the momento mori on the monuments which appeared in two issues of the Parish Magazine, Then to Walkern where I have booked a table in the delightful Brewery Tearooms. After lunch we will visit the church of St. Mary the Virgin which has a spectacular Purbeck marble memorial to a Magna Carta ‘Charter’ Baron. Our final stop will be St. Mary the Virgin in Pirton for the story of the missing fossil fish and the Hertfordshire Dinosaur Iguanodon hilli. Remember we will meet up the South Mimms M1 / M25 services at a table near the café entrance at 10 am.   COST: £12.


Mike Howgate

Friday 8 September 2017 – The Industrial Archaeology of Brentford.

Meet up at the entrance of Kew Museum of Water and Steam (TW8 0EN, nearest B.R. station Kew Bridge) at 10.30 am. for a two hour walk around the industrial heritage of the area where the Grand Union Canal meets the River Thames. We will cross a ship repair yard which is still operating and walk through one of the earliest dockside re-developments.          COST: £8 – Pay on the day.

Mike Howgate

John Wong AGS Field Trip

Sunday 20th August 2017:  Geology Around Shepshed And Thringstone, Leicestshire. 

Led by Keith Ambrose and John Wong

John has invited Keith Ambrose to lead this field trip.  Keith is the former regional field geologist for the British Geological Survey and knows the geology of the East Midlands area well, especially Leicestershire.

We will visit six or more localities depending on the time available and accessibility of the sites on the day.  At Grace Dieu Priory ruins there are building stones from the local Charnian Supergroup, tuffs and Peldar Dacite Brecccia, Carboniferous Tickow Limestone and Precambrian North Charnwood Diorite.  At Cademan woods there is an outcrop of Grimley Andesite of the Whitwick Complex.  At Grace Dieu inlier there is the most southerly exposure of the Peak Limestone group, formerly the Carboniferous Limestone.  In a disused quarry near Calvery Rock there are exposures of secondary tufa and Triassic breccia.  West of the Grace Dieu Brook there is Carboniferous dolomitic limestone below the Triassic unconformity.  The Triassic outcrops are of the Shepshed  Sandstone member, formerly known as the Lower Keuper Sandstone.  Shepshed Sandstone was once worked for lead minerals.  At Ticknall Lane bridge there are glaciofluvial deposits of the Pleistocene.

There will be a lunch stop at a local public house or you can bring a packed lunch if you prefer.


In JULY and AUGUST I am organising three trips down the Darent Valley in Kent. This is arguably the most picturesque and interesting area near London. Arthur Mee ( editor of The King’s England series of county guide books ) built his house overlooking Eynsford and described his view as “ unique on the map of rural England”. Come and see if he was right!

NOTE: I can pick up rail travellers from nearby stations so please contact me if you need this.

Walk No.1      

Saturday 1 July 2107: From LULLINGSTONE and EYNSFORD .

( NOTE : Change of meeting place )

Meeting at Lullingstone Roman Villa at 10.30 am ( admission charge of £ 7.70 but FREE to English Heritage members so bring your card! ) we will then follow the river downstream to our lunch stop at the Countryside Centre, on our way we will visit ‘The Church on the Lawn’ at Lullingstone Castle. After lunch we will return to the car park and drive back to Eynsford where we will visit Eynsford Castle and the Church. DRIVERS NOTE : Do not cross the picturesque ford across the Darent river use the bridge.               COST £12.  

Walk No.2

Saturday 22 July: SHOREHAM to the LAVENDER FARM and back.

Meeting at Shoreham Village car park at 10.30 am.  (Satnav TN14 7SR)

I can pick people up who are travelling by train from London. There is a train which gets in at 9.34 am. at Shoreham station and I will pick up from there at 9.40 am.

We will walk from the car park past some picturesque alms houses to the ‘Battle of Britain Museum’ which is in a front room and a shed and a collection of the remains of crashed aircraft found in Kent and their stories. We will have coffee / tea in the museum then walk across country to the Lavender Farm and Shop. The hillside should be purple with lavender and the hops should be well advanced.   We will have lunch at the Countryside Centre then make our way back to Shoreham through countryside described by Samuel Palmer, the Victorian artist, as “the veil of heaven”. We will pass Palmer’s house on our way to visit Shoreham church which has a memorial window to the Victorian geologist Joseph Prestwich. We will explore the village as we make our way back to the car park.

     COST £12 can be paid on the day.

Walk No.3

Saturday 5 August: OTFORD and a trip around the SOLAR SYSTEM.

 Meeting at Otford village car park at 10.30 am. ( TN14 5PQ )  I can pick up from Otford station at 9.40 am. We will walk around the Otford Solar System model which is the largest scale model in the known universe. The full walk will take about 2 hours, depending on whether we get lost on the way to Pluto or not. After lunch in Otford we will interpret the village millennial mosaic then visit the church and the remains of Otford Palace before trying to find a sacred spring.

Cost £12 can be paid on the day.                                     Mike Howgate

Saturday 24 June 2017:   Exploring Geology and Churches in Buckinghamshire ( 3 )

Revised Itinerary

This is a car sharing trip.   Cost £15.00

Meet up at the Cock Inn in the High Street, Wing ( LU7 0NR ) It will be open for coffee from 10 am.  It is just off the A418 west of Leighton Buzzard . I suggest we park up in their car park, use the facilities and have a coffee. We can also check out the menu and book lunch before we meet up at 10.30 am under the lych-gate of All Saints church. This is an outstanding example of Anglo-Saxon architecture with some spectacular monuments inside. We will then visit the churchyard of St. Mary’s Mentmore to see the exotic gravestones and speculate on where they might have come from,

Then it is on to Stewkley where St. Michael’s is, according to Pevsner, “ the most splendid piece of Norman parochial architecture in Buckinghamshire, and in addition exceptionally complete and unaltered”. Nearby Soulbury has a church with radically different building stones and a glacial erattic, which locals claim is the DEVIL’s BOOT has just been saved from transportation by Bucks. council.

After lunch at the Cock Inn in Wing we will then travel to the village of Quainton with its spectacular windmill. We will perambulate around the village looking for Portlandian fossils. Finally we will go to Waddesdon Manor ( National Trust so bring your card ) where we will walk around the gardens to see the spectacular ‘Pulhamite’ cliffs and grotto.

Mike Howgate

John Wong Field Trip

Sunday 25th June 2017: Geology of Barnet Borough part 8 of 12 –            Underhill, Ducks Island, East Barnet and Whetstone.

There will be an introductory talk on this local field trip before we actually go to see the evidence from the superficial deposits and clues to the underlying solid geology in these localities in Barnet borough.

The main topics of the trip are the advance of the Anglian land ice into Barnet borough during the Pleistocene and its aftermath – the pre-glacial topography, the pro-glacial geomorphology and sedimentology, the periglacial superficial deposits, the chronology of the diversions of the proto-tributaries of the ProtoThames and the remnants of the river terraces.

We will see ‘pulhamite’ rock structures and John will tell you about the most exclusive private lake in the borough where the surface geology will be a treasure trove for the enthusiastic geologist and you.  Charles Darwin’s bulldog is on the itinerary if there is time.

SATURDAY 3 June 2017:The Livery Halls of the City of London’

A two hour walk around the halls of a variety of Livery Companies including the Mercers, Grocers, Skinners (and Fanmakers), Vintners, Wax Chandlers and Goldsmiths.   Their history, mottos and coats of arms will be explained. Meet above Bank station exit 3 at 2 pm. Cost £8.            Mike Howgate


FRIDAY 5 May 2017: ‘ Science in Bloomsbury’

Starting at 2pm. by the statue of Stephenson outside Euston station. After a visit to the Welcome Collection and coffee in the café we will look for the founder of medicine, a Pre-Cambrian conglomerate boulder, a three legged Quagga, disease vector factors and the discoverer of Oxygen. We will finish near Russell Square station at about 4.30 pm. COST £8.  

John Wong Field Trip

Sunday 23rd April 2017

Half-Day informal discussion/workshop at Trent Country Park Cafe:  Glacial erratic fossils and Cretaceous phosphatic nodules (coprolites?) from Barrington Quarry, Cambridgeshire, led by John Wong.

Back in 2010, John led a field trip to the quarry which is famous for the youngest geological age ichthyosaur having been found there in the chalk in 2005.  During the AGS visit numerous fossils were found including a marine reptilian tooth, fish scales and bones, shark teeth, bivalves, brachiopods, ammonites etc.  This was followed by a visit to the NHM to see the ongoing conservation and restoration work on the fossil ichthyosaur skeleton.  

During the workshop, the fossil finds will be discussed, therefore any AGS members with rocks and fossils from the 2010 visit to the Barrington Quarry please remember to bring them along.  Please book your place using John Wong’s normal contact details which can be found in the latest newsletter.                   

Mike Howgate

THURSDAY 6 APRIL 2017: ‘The Pulhamite Industry’ in Hertfordshire’.

We will start at the café alongside the River Lea at Broxbourne about 200 yards south of Broxbourne station at 11 am. We will look at the watermill remains then walk along the New River past Broxbourne church to the site of the Pulhamite factory where this type of artificial stone was produced. After lunch at the café we will visit the museum in Hoddesdon to see a new exhibition on Pulhamite. We will also visit ‘High Leigh’ conference centre where there is a Millstone Grit ravine reconstructed in Pulhamite in the grounds. COST £12.

Mike Howgate

FRIDAY 31 MARCH 2017    ‘The Financial City’

To celebrate the new ‘pound in your pocket’ we will have a walk around City institutions past and present, investigating the origin and development of Trade, Finance and Insurance in this Mecca of Money.  We will also visit the old bank vaults in the ‘Counting House ‘ pub.  The walk will finish at the Museum of the Bank of England where you can get your hands on £250,000 in gold. Meeting above exit 3 of Bank tube station at 11 am. COST £8.     Mike Howgate

John Wong

Thursday 2nd March 2017 – River Thames Intertidal Foreshore Walk.

Please see ‘Gallery’ for more photos of the trip


Geology, geomorphology, sedimentology, building stones and geoarchaeology of the lower Thames foreshore along the South Bank in Southwark, London.

Bring wellington boots or good walking boots and, for health and safety reasons some plastic gloves for when handling items retrieved from the foreshore.

John will give an introductory talk on the geology of the Thames flood plain, historical reasons for the siting of Londinium and also explain the regulations on foreshore walks.

A variety of items may be found, from prehistoric flint tools, medieval pottery and Victorian ceramics through to 20th century rubbish!  The various interesting stones used for the onshore buildings will also be studied.  Bring a packed lunch as in the afternoon we will travel to Fulham for a lunch break followed by a tour of Fulham Palace, see the building stones of St. Mary Magdalen Church and also Putney Bridge.

Saturday 29th October 2016

– Led by John Wong


  Please see ‘Gallery’ for photos of the trip

Geology of the late Precambrian ocean island arc volcanism and the paleo-environments of the Triassic Period in the deepest quarry in England. The stratigraphy is complex and the geology is significant because the quarry exhibits many of the Precambrian rocks whereas other areas in England have very low exposures. In the quarry there are large scale folds and faults of the Caledonian Orogeny, and spectacular pre-Triassic buried paleo-landscape. Full details in the A.G.S. October newsletter.

Every participant must comply with Bardon Hill Quarry’s personal protective equipment regulation – hard hat, high-visibility jacket (not vest), high visibility trousers, gloves, lace-up boots and safety glasses. You will not be allowed to go into the working quarry if you do not come with full personal protective equipment as required by the quarry management.

AGS Field Trip, led by John Wong

Watling Street Part 7 SUNDAY 11th SEPTEMBER 2016   

The trip  was in Bucks and looked at Cretaceous geology.  It included building stones and geoarchaeology at Little Brickhill and Danesborough Hill Iron Age Fort.

Cretaceous Woburn Sands (Greensands) which were Red, Brown and Silver on Aspley Heath. In addition, Danesborough Hill Iron Age Fort + a Coaching Inn, the ‘Stable Yard’, the Court House, Snowberry Lake et al. and finally lovely Little Brickhill Church. (Thanks to Chris & Karen Philbin our guides around the village) A good walk and a good geological day out!

Please see Gallery for photos of the trip!

Watling Street Part 8 will be to Milton Keynes in 2017….


MIKE’S Car Trip and Walks

Mike’s ‘Bucks, Geology and Churches trip # 2’ Sat 10th September 2016

A small group, 11 in all, met up at Dinton church at 10.30 am. After examining the building stone, a local variety of Portland stone which is creamy and full of casts and moulds of bivalves, we tried to interpret the tympanum above the Romanesque doorway. Dragons eating the fruit of the Tree of Life and St Michael fending off a fire-breathing Dragon??

We then visited two Wichert villages, Westlington, really just a hamlet, and Cuddington in a torrential downpour. Wichert is crushed limestone rubble mixed with clay and straw and the MUD cottages produced have distinctive rounded corners and un-ever walls.

After lunch in the Bugle Horn Inn, which has giant ammonites set into the car park wall, we travelled to Stone church to see its unique ‘PAGAN’ font where I tried to explain the iconography – everyone was suitably bemused. Our final stop was the hill-top village of Brill where the surviving windmill was surrounded by a ‘moonscape’ of old brick-pits. Rather than look for these in the sodden grass we retired to the Pheasant pub for a well-deserved coffee and a wide ranging discussion mainly centred on Brickmaking and Fracking.    –   Mike Howgate

See ‘Gallery’ for photos of the ‘walk’……

Friday 16th September:  1066 and all that in London with Mike

The City of London was never conquered by Duke William and so as a city guide I am not allowed to call him ‘the Conquerer’.  Come along and find out why as we visit ‘Norman’ and others sites in the City and finishing in the Tower of London.  Starting with coffee at the ‘Cafe´ Below’, St. Mary le Bow on Cheapside at 11.00am. (nearest underground St. Pauls)


AGS field meeting, led by John Wong

Field meeting to Great Tew working quarry and Churches, Oxfordshire, Saturday 23rd July 2016.

Jurassic Pliensbachian Marlstone Rock and Toarcian transitional beds.


Thanks to John for a brilliant day out!

and to Paul from the quarry for taking us round and explaining the workings of the site.



MIKE’S WALK on behalf of the GA.


A day trip for the Geologists’ Association with the Kirkaldy Society.

In the morning will search out the evidence for geologically based industries in the small area around Pinks Farm between Ridge and Ridge Hill.   We will spend about two hours exploring the area, where we will find dean holes dug by Chalk Drawers (now a bat hibernicularium), Old Chalk quarries, brick and sand pits ( one of which is featured on William Smith’s 1815 map), in what must have been a hive of extractive industrial activity 150 years ago.

After lunch in the nearby Old Guinea pub which doubles as a pizzeria we will examine the geomorphology of the area in a three mile walk from Ridge village across the Stanmoor Gravel plateau and follow the Catherine Bourne to its terminal swallow hole.

To book on this trip contact Sarah Stafford at there will be an administration fee of £5.    

ONLY 7 PLACES REMAINING!                                                  Mike Howgate